To the editor:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ruling requiring mandatory health insurance coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs has provoked outrage from all parts of the political spectrum, non-Catholics as well as Catholics, as a direct attack on First Amendment freedom of conscience and on free exercise of one's religion without government interference.
However, this should come as no surprise. A major component of the so-called Obamacare legislation was to give away lawmaking authority to the secretary of health and human services, according to his or her judgment of what is "reasonable," from Congress, the legislative branch. This gives political appointees and unelected bureaucrats, who are not accountable to us citizens, the power to make laws about our health care and makes Congress increasingly irrelevant. We should have expected tyrannical rulings violating consciences from such people. Also, it is puzzling that anyone should feel betrayed by the president, since betrayal implies the expectation that he would actually keep his promises. This outrageous ruling is only one of many traps that Obamacare has set, with more to be sprung after the 2012 election. We all need to get something into our heads: Obamacare is about government control of the people, and secondarily, if at all, about health care. Plain and simple: our liberties are under attack.
This assault on liberty has been gradual. Immediately after Sept. 11, the Patriot Act was sold as necessary "to keep us safe." Later on, Obamacare was passed "to reform our health care' system. Just weeks ago, the National Defense Authorization Act (to fund the Department of Defense this year) has a provision permitting the military to arrest and to detain indefinitely any American deemed by an unelected bureaucrat to be a terrorist - again against the Constitution. Now, legislation is being considered for "emergency" government control of the Internet. And there are many more dots to connect.
The Constitution acknowledges that basic inalienable rights, among them the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, come from our creator. Thomas Jefferson said: "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?"
We've effectively pushed God out of our schools and our public life, and the bill is coming due. Power abhors a vacuum, so as a result the federal government today is seizing to itself the power to define life, to form consciences, to grant rights - and to take them away. Quoting the Bible could be denounced as hate speech. In fact, it has been. Christians are supposed to be tolerant, but aren't tolerated. This time the administration has stepped over the line - it's so obvious that people of all political persuasions have denounced it. This is tyranny. It is time to push back. Please call your senators and congressmen: some of them respond to public opinion.