All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. – Thomas Jefferson
Never has there been a more important election year for Catholics to “get out the vote.” As the most important voting bloc in the past ten presidential elections, it is imperative that we defend our religious liberty, not only for Catholics, but for all religious persuasions. Loud and clear was the message from the White House earlier this year that freedom of conscience takes a back seat to government mandates if so deemed. Statism over adherence to our First Amendment rights protected by the U.S. Constitution is the current order of the day under the Obama Administration.
Statistically, the Catholic vote has decided the winner nine times out of the past ten presidential elections. According to exit polls in 2008, Obama garnered the Catholic vote by 9% over Senator John McCain. We cannot let this happen again. At stake are not only issues of birth control and sterilization as mandated by the ACA, but also issues of abortion, school choice, same-sex marriage and free market capitalism. Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters, interviewed by the the Wall Street Journal said, “there is no room in this great country of ours for the institutions our Church has built over the years to be Catholic in ways that are important to us.” While Obama regularly claims possession of a strong stand on protecting religious freedom and freedom of speech, he refuses to recognize Catholic principles extend past the right to worship and assemble, and apply to every facet of our lives far beyond our places of worship. These issues are, in fact, the very underpinnings of our faith. The Church has always been vehemently clear on issues of protecting life and procreation, and to require Catholic institutions to fund or provide for anything that goes against our moral thought and structure is clearly not in line with Obama’s claims to protect and defend all religions. As Catholics, the issues at stake are not gray zones adaptable by the coercion of those in current power. This is not negotiable.
Clearly, we are being pushed aside for an anti-freedom agenda pursued vigorously by the Obama Administration and evident in the 2012 Democrat platform. Liberal Cardinal Roger Mahony urged on his blog, “this decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic Community can muster.” These are not partisan issues, these are issues of essential liberty, and as the decisive voting bloc we have the means at our disposal to save these liberties from the ash heap of the Obama agenda or harken back to a time in history when settlers left Europe seeking refuge from religious persecution. It is clear that the Obama Administration chose to superciliously gamble with the Catholic vote in November by virtue of their refusal to exempt the Catholic Church from the ACA mandate. This being the case, and should Obama be re-elected, where does it stop? It is up to each of us to deliver Obama an overwhelming defeat on November 6. We will not remain silent in favor of tyranny, but will make our voices heard at the ballot box.
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