By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
You’d think President Obama, who professes, as all lefties do, to idolize Thomas Jefferson, would know better.
But alas, by imposing an abortifacient requirement on all private employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, Obama has taken a bulldozer to Jefferson’s vaunted “wall of separation between Church and State” and crumbled it to powder.
Jefferson’s famous phrase is found in a letter he wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. The Baptists were concerned about the central government poking its nose into their affairs, telling them what to believe and how to behave.
Not to worry, said Jefferson. The First Amendment does not allow the federal government to intrude in any way, shape or form into religious matters.
Said Jefferson, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God...I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people...building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
In other words, Jefferson’s wall was a strong and impregnable wall that flatly prohibited any branch of the federal government from telling men or institutions how to exercise their religious convictions.
Jefferson’s wall was thus a wall protecting the church from the interference of the state. It was not a wall that insulated the state from the influence of the church, which is how the courts have grotesquely interpreted it since 1948.
The Bill of Rights enshrines and protects individual rights, not group rights. The federal government is stringently prohibited from telling any individual man, let alone any organization, how his religious convictions should inform his behavior.
What most folks are overlooking in this heated debate over Catholic institutions is that the Obama mandate is a mandate that will apply, beginning on August 1 of this year, to every PRIVATE employer, Christian or otherwise.
Every private employer will be required to offer pills, at his own expense, that can cause abortions. The morning-after pills can cause abortions by making it impossible for a newly-conceived child to be implanted in his mother’s womb. He, at his earliest stage of development, will be flushed into the sewer like so much medical waste.
There obviously will be many employers who will have deeply held religious convictions against becoming complicit in these abortions. But after August 1, they will have no choice in the matter.
In other words, the constitutional right of individual Christian businessmen to the free exercise of religion will be shot to pieces this summer. Every conscience-driven employer will be required to offer abortion-causing pills to his employees or pay a hefty fine. If he refuses to pay the fine, he goes to jail.
Realize that beginning August 1 of this year, there will be no insurance plan for sale anywhere in America that will not require employers to offer abortion-causing pills at employer expense. Insurance companies will not take the chance of being shut down by federal enforcers for failing to comply with this mandate. Christian organizations will given a one-year extension, but that will not apply to Christian businessmen.
And if a businessman drops his insurance coverage because it mandates abortion coverage, his employees will be driven into a government-run plan, in which case his taxes will go to to fund abortions for those same employees through the government plan. In other words, he pays for abortions either way and could wind up behind bars to boot.
If this mandate is allowed to stand and is imposed on private employers at the point of a gun - the guns carried by the guys who come to arrest a businessman who won’t pay the fine - it will be the end of religious liberty in America. The American experiment of liberty and God-given rights will be over, and totalitarianism and fascism will be the new political order in what used to be the United States of America.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)