Have you ever been to jail?
I have not. My impression is that it is not a fun place to be.
You’ve probably caught wind of the firestorm that started brewing this week. Suddenly, it’s become apparent that under the President’s healthcare overhaul, every healthcare facility will have to provide contraceptive and abortion-inducing medications. This of course, is seen as directly affecting Catholics, who have traditionally taught against artificial contraception.
I don’t think Christians have ever been in a position to go to jail for their beliefs in America, at least not in our lifetimes. But a lot of Catholic bishops are saying they will go to jail rather than comply.
There have been a few people beating the drums for a long time, alerting us to the impending government interference on our religious liberty. We usually call them “right wing nuts” or “Glenn Beck.” And I have to say, I haven’t believed them. But this sure looks eerie.
My question to all of you Catholics, Evangelicals, Democrats, Republicans, whatever you are: we’ve talked a pretty big game as long as we’ve had the freedom to do so. Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is?
Not Just a Catholic Issue
Just as abortion is not just a women’s rights issue, this is not just a Catholic rights issue. There are plenty of Protestants who are standing with the Catholics, including Rick Warren, who stood in front of the country and gave the prayer at Obama’s inauguration. That’s some guts.
Every once in a while, some story comes up about a local government messing with some church and we flippantly call that “persecution” because we don’t know what we are talking about. But this issue is by far the largest, most blatant setup for Christians to be persecuted we have ever seen in this country. It’s Catholics being set up against “women’s rights,” and only backwards thinking mysoginist pigs are against women’s rights.
Don’t be fooled. This is not a Catholic issue. So don’t go to church this Sunday and sing your praise music and think you’re off the hook.
Standing Up For Justice
I want to ask a question to you Christians. When Obamacare was being debated, there were thousands of Christians blogging and writing about how this had to happen for the sake of “justice.” Our country is full of disadvantaged, disenfranchised people who can’t afford health care and can’t advocate for themselves, and our Christian conscience demands that we provide them with this “basic human right.”
I wonder how many of you Christians who are constantly bragging about how much you care about social justice will shout half as loudly about this injustice. Will you speak as forcefully in defense of justice for the unborn as you for those lacking medical care? Will we circle around the Catholic hospitals with the same enthusiasm that we circle around Best Buy to get the new iPhone?
Not everyone will. A prominent female Methodist tweeted that this is a great day for women’s healthcare. I’ll just bite my tongue.
Throw Away the Key
To be honest with you, we should be ashamed of ourselves. If this law sticks, and all the consequences come with it, and Christians start going to jail and healthcare facilities are taken over or shut down, we will be the architects of our own persecution. We allowed this to happen. We let ourselves be duped by “compassion,” (mixed with a heavy dose of selfishness) and we were so eager to make this happen, we didn’t even demand to know what we were getting into.
Most protests that don’t cost the participants anything don’t accomplish anything. That’s why the “Occupy” hippies haven’t accomplished squat. I guarantee, solving this injustice will require that we do something uncomfortable. Some Christians will go to jail over this.
Will you be one of them? Do you think that’s what it will come to? Or is this all a great thing for women’s health care?