Secularists Are Fanatics Too

By + More

The rights of human conscience and religious liberty are as deeply embedded in the American experience as the Fourth of July. Surrender these two things, and we are no longer a free people.

In any conversation about the rights of conscience, Thomas More inevitably comes up. Rather than violate his own conscience by condoning a sham marriage, More suffered martyrdom rather than enjoy the wealth and protection of King Henry VIII.

[Rick Newman: Obama's Common-Sense Deficit.]

Liberty is often a balance between two vices: license and tyranny. One attempts to say there are no rules; the other makes up so many rules they are impossible to follow.

Obama's mandate to force Catholic hospitals and other religious institutions to provide for abortifacients and birth control has the unique quality of offending in both extremes. Not only does it enable license, it tyrannizes the consciences of millions of Christians of every denomination.

[New Culture War Will Help Rick Santorum, Barack Obama.]

What's worse, the infiltration of the secular state into the faiths of millions of taxpaying Americans alarms the very soul of the American character—it is precisely the overreach some have warned against for decades.

Yet this is the fallacy of political religions. Whether your belief system is revolutionary or spiritual, it is as tried and true a set of precepts or belief as any other. Some attend services on Sunday, others occupy courthouse greens. These faiths—whether they are Christian, Jewish, secular, Marxist, or otherwise—all have their creeds, adherents, and priests.

[Majority of Catholics Believe Employers Should Cover Birth Control.]

What this recent episode with Obamacare and the federal government's attack on religious liberty has shown many Americans is simple. Secularists are every bit the fanatics as they imagine others to be.

This fanaticism from the secular left is political religion right through. Their collection plate is your paycheck; their evangelization the end of a judge's gavel. All other faiths must submit or be shamed into submission—and this political religion does not suffer rivals well.

[Mitt Romney and the GOP’s War on Birth Control.]

The Catholic bishops were once proud supporters of Obamacare, having caught a lion by its tail to support its own vision of social justice. That lion has now turned 'round, the makeshift alliance between the Catholic and secular left imploded for the trap we all knew Obamacare really was.

Conscience protections are at the very heart of the American experiment. Though they are inconvenient for the radicals and the secular political religions that have consumed the American left in recent decades, the rights of conscience are fundamental human rights. Conscience cannot be repealed by Congress, conscience cannot be abrogated by judicial fiat, nor can conscience be long contained by government.

Most knowledgeable Americans have at one time or another referenced Jefferson's famous "wall of separation between Church and State" letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1803. Few others will quote the rest of the document:

Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore man to all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

After all, Jefferson was a keen student of classical authors such as Cicero. If the great theater for all virtue is conscience, then the intrusion of the government into this most private of all spaces is nothing less than the definition of tyranny.

[Catholic Birth Control Fight About Healthcare, Not Just Religion.]

This is why our Founding Fathers, though they knew America to be a profoundly Christian nation, understood that to best guarantee the rights of conscience and to protect free religion, gave us a republic and not a theocracy. The defense of that republic has always cemented itself on the size, proportion, and scope of federal power.

Jefferson innately understood this. Modern Americans appreciate this as well.

  • Join the debate on Facebook.
  • Follow U.S. News Debate Club on Twitter.
  • Obamacare Birth Control Mandate Tramples Religious Liberty.
  • About Andrea S. Lafferty President of Traditional Values Coalition

    Tags
    birth control
    religion
    Obama administration
    Obama, Barack

    Other Arguments

    #1
    47 Pts
    Religious Exemptions Must Be Employed Judiciously

    Yes – Religious Exemptions Must Be Employed Judiciously

    Jessica Arons Director of the Women's Health and Rights Program at Center for American Progress

    #2
    41 Pts
    Contraception Mandate Doesn't Protect Religious Liberty

    No – Contraception Mandate Doesn't Protect Religious Liberty

    Hannah Smith Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

    #3
    29 Pts
    Contraception Mandate a Profound Violation of Religious Freedom

    No – Contraception Mandate a Profound Violation of Religious Freedom

    Jeanne Monahan Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council

    #6
    8 Pts
    The Edict of the HHS Death Panel Cannot Stand

    No – The Edict of the HHS Death Panel Cannot Stand

    Patrick Vaughn General Counsel at American Family Association

    #7
    6 Pts
    We Cannot Trust the President's Promises

    No – We Cannot Trust the President's Promises

    Janice Shaw Crouse Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute

    #8
    2 Pts
    Government Cannot Dictate Private Beliefs

    Yes – Government Cannot Dictate Private Beliefs

    Roger N. Lancaster Director of Cultural Studies at George Mason University

    #9
    -5 Pts
    Like Komen, Politicians Attack Birth Control at Their Own Risk
    #10
    -8 Pts
    The Bishops Are in No Place to Cry Foul

    Yes – The Bishops Are in No Place to Cry Foul

    Louise Melling Deputy Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union

    #11
    -15 Pts
    Blame the Church, Not the State

    Yes – Blame the Church, Not the State

    Joan Hoff Research Professor of History at Montana State University

    You Might Also Like


    See More