Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness. Colossians 3:15

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Debate goes beyond socialism to liberty

Published in Cumberland Time-News Thursday, June 14, 2012.
"Our founders established for us, as Jesus taught, that no ruler, nor president, has supreme authority to coerce God-fearing citizens to obey the state, and morally perish."

While folks debate Barack Obama’s socialist leanings regarding, for instance, his manipulating from the White House such industries as finance, health and energy, one thing is certain: He shared Marxist ideologies with Jeremiah Wright, a fervent liberation theologian, and his beliefs clash head-on with the Catholic Church.

Liberation theology twists Christianity to devalue Jesus’ divine nature and his salvific mission and, instead, emphasize his human persona in order to glorify and justify social redemption.

An errant offshoot of Catholicism, liberation theology espouses that Jesus promotes liberation from economic and political injustices imposed on the downtrodden by their oppressors, rather than urging personal redemption from sins of immorality.

Romans and Jews made the same mistake in Jesus’ day. Fear of Jesus’ influence as a revolutionary led to his death, though he claimed no intent to be an earthly king and told Pilate (John 18:36), “My kingdom is not of this world.”

Jesus taught, rather, that each of us, made in the image of God, is inherently dignified and uniquely responsible for our own conduct in the material world -- and our own fate in eternity.

Liberation theology seems to drive President Obama in his cries about the rich “paying their fair share” and his desire to “spread the wealth around.” It could be the force behind his trumped-up class warfare and claims of a war on women.

Our deliverer-president, in fact, in his Obamacare mandate, is waging war on the Catholic Church, and on religion in general; it violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as Jesus’ command that we should give to the state what is the state’s, and to God what is God’s (Mark12:17).

Our founders established for us, as Jesus taught, that no ruler, nor president, has supreme authority to coerce God-fearing citizens to obey the state, and morally perish.

 Speaking of the church’s response to the Department of Health and Human Services’ order to provide employees insurance coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, said on May 21 that church leaders have no choice now but to sue.

“We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress -- and will keep at it -- but there’s still no fix,” many media quote Dolan. “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”

The Archdiocese of New York is one of 43 plaintiffs -- Catholic dioceses, schools, hospitals, social service agencies and other institutions, Catholic News Agency clarifies -- who filed suit in 12 federal district courts across the country.

CNA reports that “states, colleges, private employers and organizations throughout the U.S.” previously filed at least 11 lawsuits against the mandate.

If the Supreme Court decides this month to strike the mandate, then the lawsuits could be moot. In the meantime, they illustrate “a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty,” Dolan observes – a cause that spawned our nation’s founding and should unify all Americans.

How ironic that Father John Jenkins -- Notre Dame president who infamously awarded President Obama an honorary degree, despite opposition from bishops and faithful across the country who object to Obama’s advancement of abortion -- proclaims in the May 21 Washington Post, “This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives.”

Indeed, the debate goes to the heart of the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness in America.