Friday, February 24, 2012

Missing Ronald Reagan

Our Lord died for us; now we must fight for Him!

Back in March of 2011, when I decided to become a blogger and sat down to write my first post for "String of Pearls," I made a decision to steer clear of political topics and keep my humble little blog focused on matters of Faith, family, and a smattering of other safe topics that interest me--like art, books, sports, crafts, recipes, etc. With only one or two brief hints about how I feel regarding certain hot-button issues that dominate the news these days (they snuck in there somehow, despite my best efforts), I have held strong to my original plans for this blog.

But I can't really keep quiet now. The president has brazenly declared war on the Catholic Church and her followers. On all Americans, really; because if he wins this war, the effects will ultimately be felt by people of all creeds: they will realize what has been lost is the cherished freedom of religion that was granted to each and every citizen in this great land of ours via the First Ammendment to the Constitution. President Obama did promise us, when he was campaigning to win the 2008 election, that he would "fundamentally change" our country; so it should come as no surprise that he is actually setting out to do just that. For those who were seduced by the mantra of "hope and change," I can only think of that old saying: be careful what you wish for.

If you own a T.V. set or a computer, or you read a daily newspaper, you've probably heard that President Obama plans to force Catholic hospitals to provide coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortion services as part of basic "health care" for their employees. If they refuse to comply (as they should, in good conscience) they would have a choice: to pay burdensome fines; or to fire all non-Catholic employees and hire only Catholic ones (and furthermore, they would no longer be allowed to treat non-Catholic patients). If this bill is passed, Catholic institutions that have served so many for so long could be forced to close their doors under the financial strain caused by these new restrictions. The Catholic Church is the largest private provider of health care in this country; there are more than 600 Catholic hospitals in the U.S., serving 5.5 million patients (roughly 20% of all hospital admissions). The closing of so many hospitals would be truly devastating. Since President Obama can't possibly wish to lose all those hospitals (can he?), he must be banking on the belief that Catholic hospital administrators will cave under the pressure, give in, and start offering employee health coverage for drugs and procedures that go directly against the teachings of the Church. Other private Catholic institutions, like parochial schools, are also being targeted in the president's plan.

The U.S. Catholic bishops are understandably outraged; they have formed a united front in trying to fight President Obama's anti-Catholic directive, and they're calling on the faithful to speak out against this attack on their freedoms. Of course, the best way to make voices heard loud and clear is at the voting booths in November.

Catholics should be outraged, right along with their bishops, about the president's attempt to strip them of the freedom to practice their religion in peace, without government interference. And Americans of other faiths should be very afraid of what it could mean for them, too, sometime in the not-too-distant future, if President Obama is successful in his attempt to cripple the Catholic Church in America.

I don't know about you, but right now I'm missing our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, who was quoted as saying, "Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged." That right there says it all, doesn't it? We could really use another leader like him.

(By the way, if you want to read a great book about Reagan that will turn you into a fan if you aren't one already, I recommend When Character Was King, by Peggy Noonan.)

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