Google+
Close

The Corner

The one and only.

The Obamacare Cask of Amontillado



Text  



“Catholics Hear Anti-Obama Letter in Church.” That was the headline on a CBS News story about the bishops’ pastoral letter last Sunday, objecting to the anti-religious, anti-conscience provisions of the morally monstrous Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known in infamy as Obamacare. 

Of course, the actual text of the letter has nothing “anti-Obama” in it at all, unless (as the Left fervently believes) any criticism of any kind of any Obama administration policy is ipso facto “anti-Obama” on a personal, visceral, and very probably racist level. 

Here’s the operative text:

. . . the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

Note the either-or, as the bishops pathetically frame the issue. Either knuckle under to the atheist Leviathan and get with the Culture of Death, or knuckle under and drop coverage and knuckle under and pay the fines. Not a word about engaging in widespread civil disobedience by refusing to acknowledge’s the law’s legitimacy, by refusing to accept Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s unconstitutional arrogation of authority in direct violation of the First Amendment, by citing the long leftist tradition of conscientious objection and telling the government to shove it, or by carrying on with the status quo until either the Supreme Court sorts this out or the Church is forced by imperial Washington’s legions to capitulate.

Instead, they offer these brave words:

We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens.

But people of faith are already being made second-class citizens, especially when that faith is Christianity — the faith of the overwhelming majority of American citizens and of the Founding Fathers. The poison injected into the American body politic in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair (whose grisly end is often forgotten by her hagiographers) and the Supreme Court is still snaking its way through the system. Sebelius’s high-handed edict is just one more brick in a wall that will end in the “separation” of Church and State the way Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado” ends for the stunned and hapless Fortunato, entombed alive and crying out for the love of God, Montresor.

The bishops, however, seem clueless, already accepting their chains as a fait accompli:#more#

We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.  

So what do the descendants of Dagger John propose to do about it? In a sentiment echoed by Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, the Bishop of Marquette, the Most. Rev. Alexander Sample, recommends this:

First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision. 

That’s it — pray, fast, and go to a website. Only the Bishop of Trenton, David O’Connell, offers a glimpse of the old Irish fighting spirit.

“This is not an attempt by the Church to interfere with anyone’s politics,” he writes in conclusion. “It is, rather, an attempt to lift up and live our Catholic faith the way that our nation and our constitution have always guaranteed us the freedom and the right to do so. Please join me and all of those harmed by this legislation in prayer and in an all-out effort to have our freedom restored. History cautions us repeatedly that once we walk down such a dangerous path, we will get lost in the process.”

That’s one way of putting it. Another is that once Montresor’s got you inebriated and chained to the wall, and is just about to cement the last brick in place, it’s way too late to figure out that you’re in big trouble. And here you thought he was your friend and neighbor…

“The Pope! How many divisions has he got?” snorted the former seminarian, Communist mass murderer, and leftist icon Stalin. Guess we’re about to find out.



Text  


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review