Catholics in America need to start being very concerned about the willingness of the government to interfere in Church matters.
Liberals have long since cried "Separation of Church and State!" as a rallying cry designed to make it well-nigh impossible for religious organizations to be present in the public square. From taking down Christmas displays on government property to wiping all references to Christianity from the schools to fostering the creation of work environments where any mention of religious faith is stifled as being opposed to the "core value" of "diversity," liberals in America have been tireless in their determination to create a wholly secular society, one in which people with strong religious beliefs are seen as a quaint throwback, a cultural curiosity, powerless and silent.
But the gods of secularism are petty gods. They won't be appeased by half-measures. They demand the enshrinement of their dogma: the destruction of the human family, and the elevation of the divine autonomous individual doing whatever he or she likes without fear of negative consequences or societal disapproval. All must fall before that twisted doctrine; everything but that is expendable, everything but that can be slated for destruction.
Like in Massachusetts, when Catholic Charities stopped placing children for adoption rather than follow state law--and violate Church teaching--by placing children with homosexual couples. There wasn't even a question of state funding: the state issued an ultimatum, that the Church either had to place children with homosexual couples, or the Church would lose its license to place children for adoption at all. In this instance, Archbishop O'Malley chose the path of moral responsibility, and shut down Catholic Charities' adoption services. The gods of secularism were pleased to be given such power over the Church.
Then there is Connecticut, and this story. Catholic bishops have been fighting the new state law that requires all hospitals, Catholic or not, to give the abortifacient Plan B pill to rape victims. The Catholic bishops have decided to comply with the law. Theoretically, the hospital will insist on a pregnancy test before giving Plan B, but since most employees of these so-called "Catholic" hospitals in America will quite cheerfully, if quite quietly, violate the hospitals' Catholic ethics code on other forms of abortifacient contraception and will, in fact, hand them out like candy, I foresee that the pregnancy test requirement will be ridiculed and dropped by most of the ER doctors faced with rape victims. Of course, since an ovulation test isn't required it's quite possible that the Plan B pills will cause abortions anyway, even if the pregnancy test requirement is adhered to very strictly.
Frankly, the bishops needed to stand up to this, and they didn't. They've opened the door for the state of Connecticut to require whatever unethical or immoral medical procedures they want; don't think such requirements won't be forthcoming. The gods of secularism are very triumphant--nothing pleases them more to be able to force the Church to sacrifice to Moloch, in the names of the secular gods of equality and choice.
Of course, it's hard to blame the bishops of Connecticut. The precedent, in many ways, was set when Catholic Charities in California was forced to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees, because Catholic Charities didn't meet the narrow exception provided by the law mandating such coverage. There was a tiny window of opportunity for the Catholic bishops of California: they could have removed all employee health insurance coverage, or they could have closed down Catholic Charities altogether, rather than comply with this unjust and evil law. But they didn't--and now more and more states are mandating that the Church pay for immoral contraception coverage for employees. The gods of secularism are amused; it delights them that the Church has to pay for the temporary chemical sterilization of other Catholics, many of whom have no idea what the Church actually teaches about contraception in the first place.
What does the future hold for Catholics in America?
Will our churches lose their tax-exempt status for refusing to bow to the gods of secularism on gay marriage? Or will our leaders work out an evil compromise, refusing to speak the Church's teachings clearly in order to retain this status?
Will our churches speak loudly and clearly about the evils of abortion and contraception? Or will they speak, but will their actions of appeasement and compromise blur the clarity of the message?
Will our Catholic hospitals refuse to have anything to do with "cures" for disease manufactured from embryonic stem cells? Or will they shroud themselves in layers of careful nuance and continue on with the status quo, hand in glove with the culture of death?
As I said at the beginning of this post, Catholics in America need to start being very concerned about the willingness of the government to interfere in Church matters.
And Catholics in America need to start being very, very concerned about the willingness of the Church to let the government interfere.
If the gods of secularism win in the end, the cry "Separation of Church and State!" will become the pretext on which all civil rights will be stripped from those who hold sincere religious beliefs. And the "wall of separation" between Church and State will be the means used to wall us in, lest our religious values taint and infect the crowds of wild revelers worshiping the gods of selfish hedonism and the vile wild emptiness of cultural excess and individual narcissistic adulation.