The implicit argument raised in the story linked below is that if the recent HHS rule changes regarding birth control insurance coverage are left to stand, it means nothing less than the end of religious freedom in the USA. And so it ends. For we have witnessed over the last fifty years that Freedom of Religion, as guaranteed by the First Amendment, has been redefined by our elites as simply the freedom to worship. In other words, the government, its courts, and a significant measure of the American population condescend to let people worship freely in the cult of their choice so long as they do it privately. All other aspects of religion which intrude into the public sphere are subject to government regulation, restriction, or outright prohibition under the doctrine of church and state separation. Any student of history should know that this is how the persecutions began in 1918 in the Soviet Union shortly after the regime revealed itself to be militantly atheist. There are many lessons to learn from history for those who still think the USA is unique.
When people become afraid of severe personal and professional consequences for acting on their religious faith, it sounds more like what we expected of the USSR circa 1965 rather than the USA in 2012. So it seems that socialism fell everywhere in the early 1990’s except for Cuba, North Korea, and American university campuses. Now the Federal HHS bureaucracy has generously given religious groups one year to “adjust” their belief systems to the new regulations. The Catholic Bishops know where this is heading and have already called for civil disobedience when the regulations take full effect next year. 2013 will prove to give us some very interesting times, and will determine whether religious freedom extends outside the circumscribed perimeter of worship services. The media is largely ignoring this line drawn in the sand, and once the issue is addressed by the Supreme Court I’m not optimistic for those on the side of religious liberty.