Yes and Eugene Joseph’s disappointed too. The WaPo scribbler’s 1/29/’12 piece opens with some thunder about his hero “botching” the contraceptive issue and complains that the president’s “progressive Catholic allies” have been “thrown under the bus”(Wow! that’s an original turn of phrase. Sure wish I’d thought of it.) However the key sentence comes later and begins, ” But speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government,…”
And ladies and gents there it is in plain black and white: something called “religious pluralism” does what? Why it “imposes certain obligations on government…” Now this is instructive. Mr. Dionne holds an entirely novel view of freedom of religion and conscience; to wit: We don’t have it! Instead the fact of many religions means the government has “certain obligations” Certain obligations Mr Dionne!? And what might they be? A general, but meaningless nod toward something or other called pluralism?
(Dionne is a Catholic. He surely knows the faith claims made by his church give no quarter whatever to pluralism. The Roman Catholic Church is bold to proclaim that it alone is the True Church and bears the marks that prove it to be founded by Jesus Christ, namely that it is One, Holy, Catholic or Universal and Apostolic. It teaches that in so far as other denominations differ from Catholic teaching they are in error. It holds that the Bishop of Rome or Pope is The Vicar of Christ on Earth who is infallible speaking “ex cathedra” and further that the pope is like Peter “the rock” upon which Christ founded his one true church. Now this same church unlike the Obama administration also holds that all human beings with informed conscience must listen to that conscience because it is of God. The RC church also since Vatican II has been a leader in preaching and practicing tolerance where tolerance does not mean countenancing wrong doing, abortion for example I add this to in no way cast aspersions on Roman Catholicism, but as a small example of the essential meaninglessness of pluralism as modern-day liberalism has it.)
Dionne’s entire objection is the kind that usually gets laws tossed out because it is vague, that is to say meaningless. Our founders take the whole issue much more seriously and thus we have, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” I am in no way a constitutional scholar, but of course I don’t have to be; nor does anyone. The “free exercise therof” needs no explanation, and it most definitely doesn’t impose just “certain obligations” on government. That word “prohibiting” clearly and positively means a citizens right of faith and conscience (religion) is guaranteed. The government, Mr Dionne, doesn’t have an obligation to consider this or that exercise of religion; it is prohibited from interfering in the realm of faith and conscience. Period.
Pitiful naivete is demonstrated in the whole Dionne column. He ought to know that The Left will always sooner or later attempt to control conscience. And yes, before the objection is raised, I mean what Dionne’s own Catholic faith calls informed conscience. He is not only naive but to use another Catholic phrase of art: Invincibly Ignorant. Washington habitue that he is, it is beyond incredible that he ever looked to the rising federal health care tyranny to guard religious freedom. The whole history of The Left tells all of us what’s coming. Health care inevitably involves the deepest questions of human existance which in turn mean questions of right and wrong. Health care can not ultimately be separated from religion and conscience.
Obamacare per force must enter into matters of faith. Dionne’s column is useful in a way he no doubt didn’t intend.
As an aside I’d like to venture a prediction, and I’m pretty sure of this one. The administration will at least partly cave on the Catholics and contraceptives issue. Dionne will no doubt write another column in the manner of a boot licker who thanks his master for not kicking, but only slapping him.