SEE this amazingly forceful presidential election ad by Catholics Called to Witness that goes so far as to suggest that Catholics who vote for Obama in November will jeopardize their salvation. This commercial is unlike any anti-Obama advertisement I have ever seen.
The commercial has one weakness and that is its reference to the talking point of “religious liberty.” Obamacare is not essentially a question of religious liberty, at least not for Catholics. Is that what Catholicism stands for — freedom for all religions? It makes me cringe to hear bishops speak this way. Do we wish liberty for cults that believe in human sacrifice? Should we countenance liberty for a religion that entombed live people in pyramids or one that believed in killing infidels? It’s a question not so much of religious liberty but of the government supporting immorality, actively encouraging people to do wrong, and of marginalizing one particular religion: Christianity. And, as a commenter points out below, it’s a matter of individual freedom of commerce. So far there has been no serious repudiation by Catholic organizations of the idea that universal health care is in itself anti-Catholic even if it does not subsidize abortion and contraception.
Nevertheless, this is a very compelling video that should give pause to many liberal Catholics.
—– Comments —-
Vincent C., who sent the video, writes:
Is this the opening shot of the USCCB’s campaign in dealing with the administration?
Perhaps Cardinal Dolan might pry himself loose from tv appearances with Signor Colbert and make the case more forcefully that no administration in U.S. history has attempted what the Obama Administration has done, with the connivance and approval, no less that a great number of putative Catholics.
Let the games begin…
Henry McCulloch writes:
Powerful. I would have made one edit: the video makes the strong point that compelling the Catholic Church to buy insurance that contradicts her dogma and doctrines violates religious freedom, but the same is just as true of compelling any businessman of faith, Catholic or otherwise, to do so. As critical as is the issue of government’s coercing the Church as an institution, its coercing faithful people individually to violate their consciences is just as flagrant a violation of religious freedom. Saying so explicitly would have resonated more powerfully with many people on an individual level – people who don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the Church’s institutional prerogatives but surely don’t like having their own arms twisted by federal bureaucrats.
At bottom, the issue is one of individual liberty: individual Americans, not collective institutions, have rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Such exemptions as the Church enjoys – for how much longer? – are justified by the First Amendment’s guarantee to individual Americans that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
The Obama administration is clearly acting – and cleverly letting traitor-Catholic women such as Sebelius and Pelosi lead the charge – to redefine the free exercise of religion to confine it to formal services only. If Obamacare stands as is, then thanks largely to a man who has exposed himself as a traitor-Catholic as well, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, that goal is basically achieved.
And once confinement of the free exercise of religion to formal religious services is accomplished, how long will the Obamatons wait before attacking the content and conduct of such services using anti-discrimination laws, to sidestep what tattered remnants of the First Amendment Americans still retain? One caveat applies, though: there will be, to use Lawrence Auster’s apposite phrase, an unprincipled exception for almost anything mullahs may say and do in their mosques. Moslem speech will not be policed.
People say it every four – or even two – years, but this time it is true to say that this is a crucial election.
Even so, turning to another make-or-break issue for America, should Romney select the amnesty-shilling and Constitutionally ineligible Marco Rubio as a running mate, I doubt I could make myself vote for him, execrable though Obama is.
Mr. McCulloch adds:
You have made the most important point, one that I missed:
Obamacare is not essentially a question of religious liberty, at least not for Catholics. Is that what Catholicism stands for — freedom for all religions? It makes me cringe to hear bishops speak this way. Do we wish liberty for cults that believe in human sacrifice? Should we countenance liberty for a religion that entombed live people in pyramids or one that believed in killing infidels? It’s a question not so much of religious liberty but of the government supporting immorality, actively encouraging people to do wrong, and of marginalizing one particular religion: Christianity.
Catholic bishops have one duty, as they shepherd their flocks, that trumps all others: to teach and defend the Faith, helping Catholics lay and religious to find our way to salvation. Pace post-Vatican II ecumania, they have no duty to ease the path of other religions. I did not focus on the bishops’ overriding Christian duty, as I was thinking in more legal American terms: how best to emphasize what a gross violation the Obamacare mandates are of individual liberty as supposedly safeguarded by the Constitution. The question I was asking myself was how the video might be made even more powerful, how its appeal might extend to those who are not themselves Catholic (or who are Catholic, but don’t think much about their Church as a living body). The recent response by so many Americans to Rahm Emanuel, Edwin Lee and Thomas Menino’s bullying of Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy made me think an anti-Obamacare campaign that focuses on the individual betrayals of conscience Obamacare compels might enjoy great success.
Still, you see the full picture. It is fine for Catholic bishops to note that Obamacare violates religious liberty. As teachers of Christians (and, we hope, agents of conversion for non-Catholics), they must go beyond that basic observation and say clearly that Obamacare’s mandates are an assault on Christian – specifically Catholic – faith and belief, and why that is so. And they should not shy away from saying, as you note, that the target of Obama’s attack is Christianity. Obama and his minions are not targeting Islam, Judaism (although I should think there is much in Obamacare to offend devout adherents of those religions as well) or any polytheistic religion. No, the target is Christianity, and precisely because Christian belief and morality are essential elements of the traditional America Obama and his associates are working so hard to expunge.
I agree that there is the potential to reach an even larger audience with the issue of individual liberty. And it saddens me to see Catholics fail to object to government violation of basic property rights.
Still, I am blown away by this ad and how powerful it is. Notice that it features a woman voter. Very good.