A Question of Conscience
With the dawning of another four-year term for President Obama comes the realization that the secular stranglehold on our society is increasing. This is clearly visible in the dwindling number of conservatives overall, but especially self-described conservative Christians. (This is without mentioning the decreasing number of those who identify themselves as Republicans, for Republicans and conservatives are not one and the same.) In a broad sense, there is a decrease even among those who identify themselves as ‘religious.’
According to an October 9, 2012 release by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: “The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling. In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).”
I am confident that we could all develop a list of WHY this is so, but an interesting question is HOW it affects those who brand themselves as part of an increasingly shrinking majority.
One recent development involves an HHS mandate which stems from “Obamacare.” This essentially requires businesses to fund abortions by forcing them to pay for drugs that might induce them. This type of chemical abortion goes against many religious stances on protecting life. One business eager to challenge this forceful mandate is Hobby Lobby, a company widely known to be owned by Christians. They have indeed filed suit against the Obama administration for this requirement of the health care legislation.
Part of their opposition includes spelling out the consequences should they not agree to fund chemical abortions in the form of employee health insurance options.
- Go against their consciences by agreeing to the implementation of “Obamacare” within their company.
- Decide “Obamacare” is for their company, but choose not to provide for ‘chemical abortion’ drugs within the plan. This results in a fine of $1.3 million per day imposed by the Federal government.
- Drop health insurance for employees altogether and pay roughly $26 million per year in penalties.
Are you shocked yet? Don’t be.
According to Kyle Duncan of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Obama administration said at a recent hearing, “…once someone starts a ‘secular’ business, he categorically loses any right to run that business in accordance with his conscience. The business owner simply leaves her First Amendment rights at home when she goes to work at the business she built.”
Pack up your consciences, business owners. They need not interfere in the environment you created. Confine them to your private lives and decisions. The very government which drafted a Constitution and stated in its First Amendment that it would not create a law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” now prohibits the very exercise of that religion in their public commerce, defined as they choose.
This matter, individual at its core, is far from resolved. According to the Becket Fund, there are ’40 cases’ and ‘over 110 plaintiffs’ involved in disputing this very unconstitutional mandate. The matter of religious freedom hangs more precariously than ever. We are all under a secular administration that is not overly-concerned with our freedoms, but rather with pushing for secularization to supersede our very personal decisions of conscience.