…The state no longer criminalizes a belief in transubstantiation, mainly because most people have no idea what that is. But they know what sex is, and, if the price of Pierre Trudeau’s assertion that “the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation” is that the state has to take an ever larger place in the churches and colleges and hospitals and insurance agencies and small businesses of the nation, they’re cool with that. The developed world’s massive expansion of sexual liberty has provided a useful cover for the shriveling of almost every other kind. Free speech, property rights, economic liberty, and the right to self-defense are under continuous assault by Big Government. In New York and California and many other places, sexual license is about the only thing you don’t need a license for.
Even if you profoundly disagree with Pope Paul VI’s predictions that artificial birth control would lead to “conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality,” the objectification of women, and governments’ “imposing upon their peoples” state-approved methods of contraception, or even if you think he was pretty much on the money but that the collective damage they have done does not outweigh the individual freedom they have brought to many, it ought to bother you that in the cause of delegitimizing two millennia of moral teaching the state is willing to intrude on core rights — rights to property, rights of association, even rights to private conversation. In 2009, David Booker was suspended from his job at a hostel for the homeless run by the Church of England’s Society of St James after a late-night chit-chat with a colleague, Fiona Vardy, in which he chanced to mention that he did not believe that vicars should be allowed to wed their gay partners. Miss Vardy raised no objection at the time, but the following day mentioned the private conversation to her superiors. They recognized the gravity of the situation and acted immediately, suspending Mr. Booker from his job and announcing that “action has been taken to safeguard both residents and staff.” If you let private citizens run around engaging in free exercise of religion in private conversation, there’s no telling where it might end.
And so the peoples of the West are enlightened enough to have cast off the stultifying oppressiveness of religion for a world in which the state regulates every aspect of life. In 1944, at a terrible moment of the most terrible century, Henri de Lubac wrote a reflection on Europe’s civilizational crisis, Le drame de l’humanisme athee. By “atheistic humanism,” he meant the organized rejection of God — not the freelance atheism of individual skeptics but atheism as an ideology and political project in its own right. As M. de Lubac wrote, “It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man cannot organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can only organize it against man.” “Atheistic humanism” became inhumanism in the hands of the Nazis and Communists and, in its less malign form in today’s European Union, a kind of dehumanism in which a present-tense culture amuses itself to extinction. “Post-Christian Europe” is a bubble of 50-year-old retirees, 30-year-old students, empty maternity wards . . . and a surging successor population already restive to move beyond its Muslim ghettoes….(Source)
Mark Steyn gets it…and he makes this great observation:
When the president claims that “I am my brother’s keeper,” what he means is that the government should be his brother’s keeper. And, for the most part, the Catholic Church agreed. They were gung ho for Obamacare. It never seemed to occur to them that, if you agitate for state health care, the state gets to define what health care is.
Did the American bishops really believe that Obama was their Health Care Saviour. And that his support for infanticide was a “separate issue”? Good grief. But God has mercy on his people: the era of “social justice” bishops is thankfully coming to a close. If you want a sign of hope, just praise the Lord when you hear about another episcopal retirement.