The confirmation of our newest Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett, turns our thoughts to a number of key issues, not the least of which is religious freedom. A right expressed at the top of the Bill of Rights, and a major motive for our Founding Fathers, religious freedom has been under serious attack at home and abroad. President Trump’s Administration, as well as the Supreme Court, have been delivering strong victories and protections for this fundamental right in recent years, and countless Americans work and pray for that trend to continue.
Not long ago one of the daily Mass readings concerned the Jewish high priest Eleazar (2 Maccabees 6:18) who went to his death rather than pretend to eat pork. Eating pork is forbidden in Judaism, but he was told he could pretend to eat pork and thus save his life.
Eleazar couldn’t do that, he explained, because other Jews would have learned about it and then believed it was acceptable to eat pork.
Scripture and history are filled with the teaching and examples of martyrs and countless other faithful believers who resist the efforts of civil government to make them violate their faith. Whether it’s Esther approaching the King on behalf of her people (Esther 7), or Daniel in the fiery furnace for not bowing to the King’s statue (Dan. 3:13-24), or the Apostles refusing to obey the order to stop preaching in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:28-29), or Christians refusing to put a pinch of incense on the fire and say “Caesar is Lord,” or the eleven Christians a day in 2020 who are being put to death for their faith, the lesson is clear: Believing in God, and valuing faith, is not just some kind of spiritual intention. It means obeying God in every circumstance and honoring the right of others to do so as well.
This is a lesson Joe Biden clearly has not learned.
Biden likes to talk about his devotion to his Catholic faith, and it’s not up to me to judge what he believes or the depth of his faith, but because he has come to support unrestricted, taxpayer-funded abortion, he is telling other Catholics that it’s OK to completely disregard Church teachings on the sanctity of life. His collaborators in the mainstream media, by reporting story after story about this great faith, help spread this false message far and wide.
Biden’s purported faith also was nowhere in evidence when he expressed support for mandate that would force faith-based ministries like Priests for Life and the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide abortion-causing drugs and devices to our employees as part of their health insurance.
We and countless other believers already challenged the mandate that Biden fully supports. We fought it all the way to the Supreme Court, which opened the way for President Trump to exempt us fully from that mandate. He did so, and the Court subsequently backed him up.
But Biden expressed opposition to that Supreme Court decision and said he would restore the mandate to what it was before if he is elected. In other words, Biden wants to force believers to violate their faith, to abandon their religion, to go against God.
Our court battle over this mandate made it clear to us, as the Democrat platform likewise does, that Biden and company view our religious freedom as discrimination. This is a twisted understanding of a fundamental right that puts it in conflict with other fundamental rights and sets the stage for courts, through Biden-appointed judges, to issue severe restrictions on religious freedom.
President Trump is not Catholic but he has taken unprecedented steps to protect religious freedom at home and abroad, enforce laws that protect conscience, remove obstacles to faith-based groups in their participation in government programs, increase the freedom of students to pray in school and speak on campus, and of clergy to speak their mind in the pulpit, fighting religious oppression throughout the world, and much more.
Is it correct to characterize Biden’s votes as being “against God,” as President Trump did during a speech in Cleveland? Absolutely.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. President Trump constantly refers to religious liberty in his speeches, and made history at the United Nations last year with his emphasis on this theme. By so doing, he provides a clear contrast with the stance of Biden and the Democrats which can only be described as anti-religion.
God bless President Trump for calling out Biden on these issues. Not only is he a better public servant than Joe Biden, but he’s a better theologian, too!