Source: Real Clear Religion | By George Neumayr
Either say “long live the federal government” or die, Mexican government officials hectored Catholics in the early twentieth century, as depicted in the movie, For Greater Glory, an account of the Christian resistance to this persecution known as the “Cristeros war.”
Is Mexico’s past America’s future? After four years of in-your-face secularism from Barack Obama, it is not an idle question.
“Darn tooting,” Barack Obama said to militant feminists when they asked him, after the passage of the “Affordable Care Act,” if he was going to force Christians to pay for the contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacients of their employees.
Under his secularist mandates, of which his HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate is the most obvious example, Americans are in effect forced to say “long live the federal government” or face financial death. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the essence of the “Affordable Care Act,” noncomplying religious organizations can expect to face fines of $2,000 per employee as soon as August 2013. These fines will cripple most Christian hospitals and schools and cause the closures of many religious charities.
Judeo-Christianity is so dangerous to the common good, according to Obama, that he feels free to persecute it through fiats and a cramped definition of “religion” which renders, as the United States Bishops have pointed out, even Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity nonreligious. As HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius decreed at the time of the HHS mandate’s announcement, only private sects that “primarily” employ and serve fellow members of their sects qualify as “religious” under the Obama administration’s definition of a religious organization.
How convenient. By this Orwellian definition of “religion,” Obama seeks to maintain the fiction that he is respecting “religious freedom” while driving the religious out of the public square.
Purging the traditionally religious from public life has long been the objective of the ACLU left, from which Barack Obama comes. He is, as his supporters put it in 2008, the one “we have been waiting for” — meaning that he is the final consummation of socialism and secularism.
According to Barack Obama, no higher power should exist in public life than godless government. Government, not God, is the sole measure of morality and law for him. Government, not God, is the determiner of the “good.” Never mind that the word good derives from the word God. Hence, Obama feels justified in shunting the religious into the shadows of society. While he has not pursued this aim violently, as Mexican President Plutarco Calles did in the 1920s, he has pursued it bureaucratically and legislatively.
Were Plutarco Calles alive today, he would no doubt approve of Obama’s attempts to define religion out of public life through statute, not to mention Obama’s use of public schools as instruments of secularist propaganda. Raised by an atheistic uncle who taught him to hate the Church and influenced by the growing secularism in Western Europe (where he traveled), Calles was a socialist and secularist who sought to monopolize all of public life by plucking children from parents and priests and indoctrinating them in statism. “We must enter and take possession of the mind of childhood, the mind of youth,” Calles liked to say.
In For Greater Glory, the child who is pressured to say “long live the federal government” instead says bravely, “Viva Cristo Rey!” Let us hope that the parents of America will teach their children to emulate this heroic example.
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of the forthcoming book, No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.