The Return of the Imperium
Under President Obama's direction, the US Federal Government is imposing penalties on any business which does not provide health care coverage for its employees. It also stipulates that the coverage must include abortifacient drugs and abortions.
Christian churches have objected conscientiously and are suing the Federal Government for violating the consciences and religious freedom of its citizens. Obama and his coterie disagree. They argue that what he is forcing people to do has nothing to do with violating their religion. But he dissembles--whether stupidly or maliciously each must decide.
Many, if not most, Christians believe that abortion (in any form) is murder. The human being being wonderfully nurtured in the mother's womb has done nothing good or evil; therefore executing the unborn babe (however that babe came to be conceived) can never be justified. Christians are, therefore, arguing the Obama administration is breaching their First Amendment rights. (The First Amendment prohibits government from establishing a religion and protects each person's right to practice [or not practice] any faith without government interference). Christian seminaries, colleges, schools, hospitals and social services which employ others are caught.
The Obama administration argues that there is no breach of the First Amendment because that Amendment is restricted to worship (not practice). In other words, the religious person is prohibited from institutionalising his religion, from practising it, in any sphere of life apart from services of religious worship. Meanwhile, the hypocrisy of this position is incandescently exposed by the President himself. He has made no secret, and has publicly boasted, that his religion (which he loosely terms "Christian") tells him to push his progressive agenda down the throat of everyone.
So, the US government now has a radically new interpretation of the First Amendment. The religion of all US citizens may be freely believed and followed, but must be confined to individual (maybe family) and corporate worship. The religion of the President (his particular perversion of Christianity) shall be imposed on all other spheres of life.
Justin Taylor profiles the radical threat and intimidation and persecution being faced by Christian businesses in the United States, and by businesses owned by Christians.
What’s a Christian Business Owner Supposed to Do?
Mark Taylor is president of Tyndale House Publishers in Carol Stream, IL. He recently wrote in World Magazine about the penalties the federal government is seeking to impose on Tyndale in violation of their freedom of religion and right to act in accord with their biblically informed conscience:Obama is very clear on the nature of evil and sin.
My parents founded Tyndale House Publishers 50 years ago as a Christian publishing company. From the very beginning we have published Bibles, and we also publish a wide range of other Christian books. Our corporate purpose is “to minister to the spiritual needs of people, primarily through literature consistent with biblical principles.”Later in the piece he enumerates the costs to his company:
I’ve always thought—in a theoretical way—that I might someday face a situation where the government was asking or telling me to do something that was counter to God’s law as I understood it. If such a situation arose, I hoped I would have the backbone to stand tall and disobey the government mandate. Well, that day seems to have come.
The HHS mandate became effective for Tyndale House on Oct. 1. If we did not comply, we would be subject to fines of up to $100 per day per employee. We have 260 employees, so the fines could be $26,000 per day. That’s $780,000 per month, and $9.36 million per year—all because our moral and religious compass says that it is wrong for us to provide abortifacient substances or devices under our employee health plan. The federal government is telling us to violate our conscience or pay fines that would put us out of business.You can read the whole thing here.
Prayers against this ruling, it seems to me, are appropriate, in line with 1 Timothy 2:1-2: “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” The HHS mandate prevents Christian companies from fulfilling their vocations in godly ways that respect human life and dignity, therefore we should pray that God would move in the hearts of those in high positions so that the government would fulfil its primary calling: the practice and promotion of justice.
Or as Senator Obama put it when he was asked, "What is sin?". Sin he explained, is "[b]eing out of alignment with my values." [Cited by Jonah Goldberg, The Tyranny of Cliches (New York: Sentinel/Penguin, 2012), p. 83]So, here's the score. Obama has a set of values. In terms of political ideology these require he adopt a secular progressive agenda which necessitates government bringing its version of the Kingdom of God upon the United States. Not to act according to that agenda would mean violation of Obama's values. This, says Obama, would be sin (for him). Obama is the only one (apparently) who can extend the practice of his religion beyond the private sphere.
But his progressive agenda violates the consciences and values of other citizens (as we see above). Obama is requiring them to sin--to submit to the Federal Government and do things which are "out of alignment" with their values. Thus we have now gone precisely back to the situation (mutatis mutandis) that existed in the Roman Empire in the second century. The Emperor declared that he did not care a fig about what citizens and subjects did in the privacy of their own homes or places of worship. What he did care about was loyalty of the Emperor and the Empire--which all citizens would show by publicly offering incense to the Emperor and the gods--or face imperial wrath.
The position of the Obama government on this matter is breathtaking and brazen. That it could occur in a so-called free country which protects religious freedom by means of the First Amendment to its Constitution is startling. But the evil here is an ancient one. Obama is so "progressive" he has acted as the consummate reactionary. He has gone back to an ancient, evil empire and begun to smear its turds on the faces of free citizens, whom Obama regards as subjects--men and women to be made subject to his "values", his religion, his version of good and evil.