This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Religious Freedom/Religious Power

The Voice of Truth, a monthly newsletter by our lay action (pro-life) committee came out this week. The topic was Freedom of Religion under Attack. It goes back to when Lord Baltimore declared freedom of religion for Marylanders (especially Catholics) when we was granted his colonial charter in the seventeenth century. My Puritan ancestors were actually granted the same rights for themselves, but not for dissidents, in Massachusetts Bay. My ancestor was the constable in charge of enforcement and his son, a Quaker, was in charge of rebellion.

Then, as now, the question was not religious freedom, it was religious power. The 1950s were the height of Catholic power over both the nation’s sexual life and its entertainment. Like any tyrannical regime, it was overthrown. Some Catholic organizations wanted religious power over their employees regarding use of birth control. They wanted it so bad, they let Valerie Jarrett of Obama’s White House turn an innocuous regulation into a war on women. After goading pro-life politicians into making idiots of themselves, they put forth what would have been the original language and it was ratified by the Supreme Court when they forced a compromise.

One would think the issue dead, but it has become an annual thing for some in the Church, but certainly in not all of our names. It is now part of the Right to Life’s effort to look busy by going after Planned Parenthood’s non-abortive patients. They seem to have no faith in auditing by HHS, who assure that Planned Parenthood adequately seperates their funds according to OMB Circulars. The effort to disregard fact and pass the bill anyway goes forward, but meets a wall of opposition in the U.S. Senate (where 60 votes are needed for such nonsese) and an unfriendly Maryland Legislature.

The closing paragraph with an empty threat to hold Maryland office holders accountable is the final tell that this is about religious power rather than religious freedom or even truth, although I suspect the irony of the Platonic quote escapes them.

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