Monica E. Smith

Monica E. Smith

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Devil is in the Details

A growing number of Catholic bishops have said they will not comply with the Obamacare mandate the administration implemented in January. The mandate forces religious employers to pay for birth control and contraception (including drugs that may cause abortions) in their health care plans:

"We cannot – we will not comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens. 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 prosperity 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 she can trust on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less."

Setting all politics aside (and we must if we are to truthfully and effectively approach and address such intrinsically right-wrong issues), the citizens of the United States should be extremely concerned and wary of what is transpiring, little by little, within the present administration. Make no mistake about it, this particular issue is not simply about contraception. It is not a political party loyalty issue. It is not a Catholic issue. It is an American issue. It is a conscience issue, and it infringes upon the rights of every individual, regardless of religious expression, regardless of one's stand on contraception or abortion; and no man, no government has the right to interfere in a relationship between a man, his conscience and his God. No government has the right to force its citizens to violate conscience. No government has the authority to force its citizens to choose between faith and livelihood.  Simply speaking, no government has the right to interfere with the teachings of the church: "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22: 15 - 21).

The government’s responsibility is to adhere to the Constitution and secure its citizens’ rights, not to enforce pseudo safeguards under the guise of “freedoms” and “services” and “women’s health issues” which are in actuality ultimately designed to chip away at our God-given rights. But this administration cares nothing about God-given rights inherent to all men. This administration prefers engaging in semantics. This administration is abusing its power.

Furthermore, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”. Does this sound familiar? It should. It is the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States—that same Constitution to which the President of the United States affirms loyalty at his inauguration:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Really Mr. Obama?


The following ponderous statements (put forth in July of 1968) bear some serious consideration, not only as regards the so-called "contraception mandate" of Obamacare, but in discerning to whom we (should or should not) allow moral direction.


"17. Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife."

Quite prophetic, no?

"23. And now We wish to speak to rulers of nations. To you most of all is committed the responsibility of safeguarding the common good. You can contribute so much to the preservation of morals. We beg of you, never allow the morals of your peoples to be undermined. The family is the primary unit in the state; do not tolerate any legislation which would introduce into the family those practices which are opposed to the natural law of God. For there are other ways by which a government can and should solve the population problem—that is to say by enacting laws which will assist families and by educating the people wisely so that the moral law and the freedom of the citizens are both safeguarded."

The conviction of the founding fathers, held in the highest regard, was that all men, all governments are subject to the Word of God. This was of utmost importance to them; so much so, that Thomas Jefferson begins The Declaration of Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

This is no small matter. And it is not an issue solely unto itself. It is the beginning of, what I feel to be, a most difficult path ahead for people of faith. We often ask ourselves “What would I do if…?”. The time to answer is upon us.