“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”                                                 

-Acts of the Apostles: 9:4-5

 “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”                                            

-Thomas Jefferson

Pope Benedict XVI and President Obama

This month marks the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v.    Wade.  The president marked the anniversary of this decision by making a statement that this is a chance to recognize the “fundamental Constitutional right” to abortion and to “continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

This past Friday, the Obama administration finalized rules under the health care program that orders citizens – unless they work directly at a church – to buy government-approved health insurance plans that cover sterilizations and contraceptives, including pills that induce abortions.

I have, in the past, stated my personal opinion that abortion is intrinsically evil and that the Supreme Court, in its 1973 decision, grossly overstepped its Constitutional bounds and trampled on the 10th Amendment and states’ rights by its fashioning out of whole cloth, the “hypocritical” right to privacy, to cover the Roe decision. This right to privacy seems only to apply to abortion and to no other endeavor that the federal government has, in my opinion, stuck its intrusive nose in, over the last 80 years.

I do not want to make this article another discussion of the issue of abortion but of the right to freedom of choice and foremost the freedom of religious beliefs and practices, and this administration’s assault on those rights that are implicit in the health care bill.

As with all justifications of the progressive agenda, it’s required for the best of intentions and for our own good.  After all, we don’t want the poor to have children they don’t want or can’t afford. The progressives will compel those who disagree with them by force of law, and by fines or penalties.

Well, I charge the progressive left with blatant hypocrisy.  I do not think any funding of any abortion or birth control services is in the public good.  Why is it the public good to force religious institutions, that provide charitable services such as hospitals, schools, social services, etc., to pay for a service that is against their fundamental beliefs?  I can use the same argument for voluntary prayer in public schools, but at least that’s “voluntary. “

In the New Testament, Acts of the Apostles, Saul(who would later become St. Paul) was a Zealot, a Hellenistic Jew, and a Roman citizen. He used the power of the Roman state and the temple to try to compel these “misguided and troublesome” fellow Jews to give in to the greater good in order to maintain peace and stability of the congregation and avoid the further heavy hand of the Roman state on the Jewish people.  After all  who would care about the beliefs of a  few of Christian’s in order to achieve this greater good? This even meant condemning a few to death as with Paul’s participation in the stoning of St. Stephen.

I would venture the same frame of mind is with today’s progressives in their zeal to give their belief in the benefit of free reproductive services for everyone.  After all, the president equated this availability of reproductive services as tantamount to equal rights for women.

The progressives might not be stoning devout Roman Catholics, Evangelicals or Orthodox Jews who believe this is an offense against God, but they are forcing them to pay for what they believe as martyring of innocents.

If it seems like I am taking this personally, I am. I’m a Roman Catholic, albeit a very flawed one, but I take this as an attack not only against the Catholic Church but against all Christian denominations and others who are pro-life.  This progressive agenda in the health care bill is also an attack on the Constitution, forcing citizens to go against their conscience or face penalties.  My friends on the left who tout “Freedom of Choice” should rally against these coercive regulations.

This is one of the outcomes when the federal government oversteps its bounds under the Constitution and is why the founders set very limited enumerated powers on the government.

And what about Saul?  Later in the Acts of the Apostles Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and asked, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul, at that moment, had a transformation of faith and changed his name to Paul. He eventually brought Christianity to a large part of the Roman world, which would eventually cost him his life, at the hands of the Roman state.

I pray that this president will have a conversion moment similar to Paul’s and he stops persecuting the Church and people of conscience, and comes to respect our Constitutional religious freedom.

-Just my opinion.  D.B.