I’m ashamed to admit that I was amused for a bit. When the Hobby Lobby decision was first handed down, the deluge of butthurt and really bad analysis from the Left was entertaining. It offered a glimpse into a mindset that has been wrongly conditioned to think that religion was something confined to various buildings dotting the landscape of the country for a few hours a week…a diversion for people not smart enough to take advantage of an opportunity to sleep in, rather than a deeply held conviction that guides the actions of those who believe, and that as such, will be expressed in the actions taken by the holders of those beliefs, including what they do, and what government may try to force them to do, with their own property.
But the howls continued. The vitriol continued. And expressions of hatred were aired without restraint or condemnation, once again giving lie to the Left’s own sermonizing about civility and tolerance.
As a student of history, I wasn’t disturbed by the Hobby Lobby ruling, because it brought about the correct result. I was disturbed by the fact that it wasn’t a unanimous ruling, which in and of itself shows just how far we have strayed from first principles. And as the wailing and gnashing of teeth continued to grow into a low roar, fueled by ignorance and indigence that someone should be allowed to dissent and not participate in the high holy sacrament of killing unborn children, I saw yet more confirmation of a clash of beliefs being perpetrated by a creed that is still inexplicably permitted to masquerade as value neutral, when it is nothing of the sort. Secularism as practiced today has death at its heart, and as such it can be nothing but a cancer that is embraced and nurtured by too many in society until the tumor in our collective head has grown so large that it threatens the very nature of who we are as a people. Our society still utters the expressions of freedom, but does so in contradiction to the convictions that inform our actions. These soulless supplications are offered both as ruse, and rebuke, intended to convince the less vigilant among us that there is no cause for alarm, and to portray the watchmen as hysterical and ridiculous. And in this climate, usurpations and entitlements are magically and mystically transmogrified into “rights”,while real rights, which government is obligated to protect and defend, are consigned to wither and fade in the shadow of the “rights” “given” (and protected by nothing other than) by the artifice and caprice of government, which is more interested in redistributing private property and the bounty earned by it, than in defending it.
A healthy society is one that understands that morality is a cultural necessity. No society has long lasted when every man has done right in his own eyes, without a common frame of reference to which everyone can refer. Government works best when it accepts and codifies those guard rails which delineate the boundaries between what is acceptable and what is not. It is an unhealthy society which rejects what has been shown to have value, and provide a framework that allows society to grow and thrive, in favor of a government that assumes the mantle of moral authority based on what it determines is true, is right, and is acceptable, because there is no anchor for any of these determinations other than the desires of 50% +1. Some may say that this sickness is a product of the 20th Century. I’ve come to understand that the body politic has been infected with this particular hubris from much longer, but I do think that it accelerated, at an exponential rate, in the 20th Century.
The standing complaint of human degeneracy remains against us. Causes have been operating—and of late years with fearful rapidity and strength—to produce a state of moral obliquity and practical atheism among us, appalling in magnitude and of alarming consequence. It has become of late quite customary to sneer at the Puritanism of our fathers, and to speak with contempt of the severity of their manners and the bigotry of their faith. This impious treatment, by the present corrupters of society, of a generation of men whose lofty principles and illustrious virtues they seem utterly unable to comprehend, is well adapted to not only arouse the deepest indignation, but to excite the most lively concern. There are two quarters from which these evil influences chiefly proceed. A class of men without conscience, and reckless of all moral restraint, have gained ascendancy in the public favor, and assume from their prominent position to mould and direct the public sentiment of the nation. Their general influence upon the public morals has been like the wind of the desert, –poisonous, withering, and destructive. Another and very large class of men moving in the lower walks of life form a significant element of our American population, whose hard and vicious instincts , gratified without compunction and paraded everywhere in the most offensive manner, would seem to render them well-nigh incapable of reformation. Apparently insensible to all the nobler sentiments of public morality and virtue, and ever ready to perform their congenial part in the general demoralization the demand that all the higher classes shall pander to their depraved appetites, as the price of their patronage and support. In this reciprocal play of the baser passions the common principles of morality are daily sacrificed, and the strong and the weak join hands in carrying down the nation to the very verge of ruin. No man can observe the conditions of society in our country, and the obvious impulses of human conduct, without feeling that the perils against which the fathers warned us, and which have so faithfully and constantly pointed out ministers of religion, have, not withstanding, increased at a fearful rate, without seeing the most alarming departures from the standard of individual rectitude and social integrity have occurred among us within the century that is past.
—Byron Sunderland, Washington D.C., April 14, 1863.
And now we have come to a point where a vocal segment of society have decided that a recognition that someone else’s right to not participate in the use of a substance or device that they personally find repugnant to their faith should be subordinate to government’s “ability” to make them pay for another’s choice to use such substance or device. We have come to that point where a recognition of the right of conscience is considered to be a “denial of access” and abridgement of the recipient’s “right to choose” with their benefactors money. And those who protest loudest because they see in this recognition a threat to a river of blood money so long and casually extorted from the taxpayer feel absolutely no guilt in their perversion of terms and concepts in their efforts to gin up outrage against the affirmation of the obvious, which is still obviously stated, and has remained such in a more than a century’s worth of a campaign of deception and subversion by their own design, because honesty in their intentions never would have obtained the support they otherwise enjoyed.