This is not how you get religious people to change their minds

Little Sisters of the PoorMona Charen has written an excellent article about the Obama administration’s use of Obamacare as a vehicle for attacking religion and religious people.  I urge you to read it.

I was particularly struck by one point Charen made, regarding Sebelius’s previously stated view about religious accommodation — to wit, that the religion, not the state, has to adapt:

Two years ago, announcing that non-profits like the Little Sisters would be required to go along with providing all contraceptives and abortifacients even if it violated their religious convictions, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sniffed that the religious would “have to adapt.”

Put aside the fact that the Constitution, by making freedom of worship religion one of the paramount rights vested in the individual, means that the state, not the individual (or corporate collections of individuals), must adapt.  After all, we’re now used to hearing this combination of ignorance and disdain when the Obama crowd talks about the Constitution and constitutional rights.  That Sebelius erred there is a no-brainer.

The thing is that Sebelius didn’t just err about the Constitution.  She also erred about the way assimilation has always worked in America.  It hasn’t worked by persecuting religions (which is what the administration is doing now).  Instead, if you want to get rid of religion in America, you make the secular popular culture so attractive that religious people voluntarily abandon their doctrinal and procedural commitments to God.  Coercion begets resistance.  Enticement is what gets results.

Perhaps I should be grateful that, when it comes to Obamacare, the administration is clueless about this fact.

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Comments

  1. Matt_SE says

    “Perhaps I should be grateful that, when it comes to Obamacare, the administration is clueless about this fact.”
     
    Conservatives love debating exactly what diabolical move the administration is planning next. This is shadow-boxing.
    I decided a couple of months ago that the hallmarks of this administration are hubris and incompetence. In light of that, it’s now harder for me to get worked up over their schemes. Just look at all the benefits Obamacare has given to conservatives!

  2. says

    Two years ago, announcing that non-profits like the Little Sisters would be required to go along with providing all contraceptives and abortifacients even if it violated their religious convictions, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sniffed that the religious would “have to adapt.”
     
    Pointing out the obvious to the choir, I would suggest that Ms. Sebelius advise CAIR that Islam “has to adapt.”  After all, “honor killings” is part of Islam’s religious convictions.  FGM is not mandated but is widely practiced under the guise of religion.  I would suggest both of these practices are more detrimental to a woman’s health than the lack of birth control or abortifacients.
     
    Just sayin’…
     

  3. Libby says

    Is it about getting them to change their beliefs or is it about winning?
    Nothing Obama has said or done while in office would make me believe that he has any interest in changing minds. He doesn’t negotiate, he dictates. People who are not in agreement with him are always characterized as the enemy, and the enemy must be crushed (“punch back twice as hard” and all that).
     

  4. lee says

    Okay, I am not a lawyer, but to me it seems that the government defining what is a “religion” and “relgious activities” seems to be violating the establishment clause.

  5. Wolf Howling says

    Thomas Jefferson, the man most responsible for crafting the Free Exercise Clause, wrote more than simply that the Free Exercise Clause was meant to establish a “wall between Church and State.” Jefferson also wrote that government should not “interfere” with religion and that he, Jefferson, was “convinced” that man had “no natural right in opposition to his societal duties.”  Given that opposition to abortion was a settled tenet of Christianity at the time of the founding, it would seem that this mandate is a prima facie unconstitutional imposition on not only the Little Sisters of the Poor, but on every Christian in this country.  
     
    As to “coercion begets resistance,” it is worth noting that the Free Exercise Clause was crafted directly in response to the religious wars that had savaged Europe and that had led to two revolutions in Britain within the then preceding century.   Have we come so far in the two centuries since that our government can now war on religion without blood in the streets.  I wouldn’t bet on that in the long run.     
     
    History teaches that the left does not believe in “assimilation” when it has power.  It is quite willing to use the power of the police state to enforce whatever it wishes – and that holds true from Stalin to our modern leftists.  Or as Krauthammer is fond of saying, the left doesn’t care what you do, as long as it is mandatory.
     
    Lastly, it is worth noting that this is just another example of how far we have strayed from being a constitutional republic.  There in no way in hell that Congress would ever have passed the ACA with this birth control mandate.  Yet it is now law without a vote of our elected Congress critters.  Step one to end these adventures in left wing excess to require Congress to vote on regulations before they become law. 

  6. says

    I proclaimed civil war being inevitable in the US some years ago. Eventually people are picking up most of the reasons why. Reasons which for a number of reasons, it was best left unsaid at the time.

  7. Charles Martel says

    I reluctantly agree with Ymarsakar. Given the cravenness of the GOP, the corruption of the institutions, the thievery of the Democratic Party, the degradation of the culture, and the war clouds gathering over distant horizons now that Pax Americana is dying, we are headed for a civil war. It will be a bloody, awful mess, and many patriots, as well as scoundrels, will be hanging from trees across the country.

  8. says

    I never mentioned what I Really Really thought in 2007-8 because I was unsure how close the Leftist regime had the internet monitored. I was waiting for FB to be nationalized, and the lack of progress on that front was making my analysis results uncertain.
     
    Snowden, the IRS, bunch of crazy people at websites like conservative blogs, have helped me out. They have done me a favor by confirming, at least on a certain level, what the Left’s current capabilities are.
     
    So I might as well say what I want now. Most people are saying crazier stuff than I ever would have considered secure before, so it’ll mostly be stuck in the data banks of “too much stuff to analyze”.
     
    I long ago worked through the terror and fear of dying, alone or not. Terror as a means of controlling people and Making them Obey, can be resisted, though the conditioning and training process requires every day of your life, from now on. There’s also the military trigger pulling conditioning for a war, btw, that uses de-humanization of the target. Target, pull trigger, eliminate. Target eliminated, next target. Those are the thoughts being conditioned. By them. For us. By me, for them. It is the way it has to be.
     
    War is the only way to determine under God’s eye, who the virtueless and the viceless are.

  9. says

    I often mentioned the need or necessity for hate. That wasn’t mere drama. It was beneficial to my own training, mentally speaking.
     
    Those who don’t have a strong motivation to fight and destroy the enemy…. won’t pull the trigger. And what happens to fighters in a war that refuse to pull the trigger? They, their buddies, or the village they are defending, dies.
     
    Everything was said for a reason, even if it was a long term one. Every day of your life. As I did it, for every day of mine since several years ago (or more). That’s more time than most people spend in Basic being conditioned to shoot Islamos on sight.
     
    Well if you are one of those rare types that can shoot Islamic Jihadists because of love and friendship and comraderie, that’s nice. But most people aren’t like that. They need a more concrete reason to fight. Or for those supporting a war, they need more idealistic reasons why the sacrifice is justified. The psychologists costs of pulling the trigger isn’t small. The psychologist cost of failing to pull the trigger may be even greater.
     
    Btw, if the IRS or SWAT teams come for me, my defense will be the usual. Although I doubt Martel’s “I am a minority/feminist/gay” excuse will work as well against a SWAT armored insertion team.

  10. says

    Ymar…war, motivation, and hate…reminds me of something. Remember the character Captain von Trapp, in The Sound of Music? The real Captain von Trapp was considerably different from his fictional avatar…for one thing, he was much less militaristic in his approach to his children than the way he was presented in the musical…but he was indeed a WWI Austrian naval hero, specifically a U-boat commander, and he wrote an interesting memoir of his service, titled To the Last Salute.  When the war began, it was “just business”…he was a professional officer, didn’t hate anybody, indeed felt rather sorry for the enemy sailors (mostly Italian and French) he was causing to be drowned. But after seeing the hunger imposed on Austrian civilians (at least in part as a result of the Allied blockade), he says he lost all sympathy for the enemy personnel…even though he was surely aware intellectually that they had nothing to do with the blockade decision-making.
    There are probably few people who can fight a war without sooner or later developing feeling of hate or close to the same toward the enemy, even among people as decent and civilized as von Trapp seems to have been. (Although it’s not at all clear that his combat performance *after* becoming emotionally involved in this was way better than his performance when war was a strictly professional matter.)

    • says

      I remember listening to the Sound of Music movie, which I liked, but not any particulars about that one character.
       
      I like German and Japanese cultures for their rigid authoritarian obedience to legitimate chains of command. In times past, I viewed that as a necessity in order to avoid needless conflict between human tribes and irrational hatreds. A wise leader can merely command people to be at peace and to stand down, and people will, even if they fear or hate the strangers in war. Over time, I learned that the cure may be worse than the disease. Authority and Order, is often the cause of Great Chaos as it breeds minions and cogs, instead of humans that can think for themselves, by themselves. I started disliking the Germans, but only because their East German SDP party was sickening, especially during the Iraq invasion. The CHristian Democrat party led by that woman PM, forgot name, wasn’t so bad. But that Clinton buffet companion in Germany’s PM position was sickening. The Stazi and movies about them, also didn’t endear me to German obedience to authority either. The Japanese are okay, they get a pass because their (grassroots) culture has become very individualistic and less kamikaze crazy about death over the decades.
       
      I’m not surprised a naval officer would grow to hate his enemies over time. It’s a natural human response. Emotions are just emotions, humans and warriors are supposed to have sufficient strength of will to control emotions, and not let emotions or authorities control them. When emotions and authorities control you, soldiers can do anything from Mai Lai to the Japanese camps. The highest emotional strength in war is to have the greatest hate in your heart for your enemies, the greatest love for your comrades and fellows, and enough self discipline to put all that aside in order to look at the best tactics, strategy, and logistics for winning a war and removing the need for further conflict. Of course, that person may still suck at tactics, strategy, and logistics combined. Human talents don’t overflow that much in war, especially since the brightest tend to get killed the fastest by enemy snipers.
      The military and the police do not wish to allow their conditioning techniques for pulling the trigger to be released amongst the civilian population. Generally that’s because the police and the military have certain ROE and restrictions to their authorization to fire, which generally comes from some kind of authority. A civilian’s authority pretty much ends at their conscience. It doesn’t go much further or external than that. The irrational (or rational) fear the police and long time military members have for loose guns that are trained like them, but without the restraints and safeties, are kind of funny. Certainly it can go bad, like that Hasan guy on base. No safeties whatsoever there. Every patriot’s killing instinct was safed and locked away, but Hasan’s wasn’t. Dangerous. But they forget something crucial. The highest level of individual warrior is the ronin or volunteer soldier (American Revolution). Not people who can only shoot or fight because they were told to by their authority in government. A person cannot disobey illegal orders if they lack individual free will, after all. A soldier is often treated as a weapon, including their body. Used up as munitions or ammo, often times are. But a citizen is something else, above and beyond merely obeying authority for expediency and survival. The ancient Greeks had a good tradition with their warrior-philosophers and warrior-citizens. Hoplites were citizens, after all. More like soldiers than warriors, at times, but similar ethic. Certainly the Spartans went overboard there.
       
      Grossman’s On Killing is a pretty good source book for certain things. It spells out the psychologiCAL costs of war quite well. I knew most of it, but that crucial connection was something I had yet to research. It’s not something we generally think about, and it was only in this and last year that I received a belated education on farm work and animal livestock slaughtering.
       
      As I mentioned before, human survival doesn’t care what I think or what my emotions are, only that I do what is necessary for survival. If another person can feel nothing as they get it done, that works for him so it is good. If another person can kill with love in his heart, and he is fine with that, no guilt or ptsd symptoms, it’s not something I need to argue with him about. It’s not really an issue. What motivates a person to volunteer to fight is their own prerogative. All the officers and leaders in war care about are results. I’ve heard certain insurance employers are similar. Hate and love were originally emotions designed to help us survive. One is as good as the other if it is sufficient to motivate people to fight. Most people are motivated to fight by hate or anger at injustice though. Just something of a human condition issue. Coincidentally, the Left has been conditioned to hate political enemies for several decades if not centuries now. So, the conditions have already been set for them. Even if they aren’t ordered to personally gun us down, they won’t resist the Leftist death squads or help us in any shape or form. They will Obey. Their conditioning is Solid. I’ve checked, it is solid.

    • says

      If I would have to take a guess at some of the implied contradictions in the naval officer’s position, it would be that humans are a rationalizing animal. We need to have reasons for what we do, especially the things that might inspire guilt or terror.
       
      So his reason to fight may be something he finally figured out, his personal reason and that causes the emotional reaction because he now has his justification or rationalization. Before, he fought on an impersonal level, a professional level, using abstract concepts like duty or patriotism. Generally, that kind of motivation goes away after a person has been in the stress of war for awhile, like the front lines or something equivalent. They, under so much stress, fear, and other strong emotions, start searching for stronger, more personal reasons. That’s why WWII soldiers said their strongest reason for fighting was their comrades, to save them from death. That wasn’t their only reason. It’s not like they suddenly became communists or anti patriots. For family, for country, for JUSTICE, was still their abstract reason, but most humans need a personal, concrete, reason to risk life and limb, to destroy other human life. De humanization of the target, distance to the target, can help reduce the target’s feeling of humanity, but that’s where PTSD happens. When you start thinking about it and when the war is over, and you find you got no justifications and no rationalizations for what you did. Then it hits.
       
      Many people won’t forgive the Left for what they did to the Vietnamese when they forced us out of Saigon, when the Left forced us out of Saigon. What I also want people to know is that the psychologists told the returning veterans that they were monsters, that the war was for killing children, that it was illegitimate. This literally STRIPPED away the rationalizations and justifications holding back guilt and PTSD. It stripped it away. As it was intended by them.
       

  11. lee says

    There is an interesting thing going on among some atheists. There is a guy who writes a lot about atheism on the internet–being one himself–and he has been working on defining “religion” such that atheism would be considred one. Also, the are humanistic and Society for Ethical Culture “chaplains.” So, if atheism can be considred a religion, does the federal government banishment of other religions constitute establishing atheism as the “state religion” thereby violating the Establishment Clause?

  12. lee says

    Also, over in Englsnd a few years back, some nutjob, er, I men, person, took someone to court claiming that they were voilating his freedom to practice his “religion.” And his “religion”? Why, Global Warming! And he WON!
     
    So, again, if the Global Warming Gang Green crowd are managing to get the Feds to shove their agenda down out throat, is that, not again, a violation of the Establishment Clause?

    • says

      Of course in both cases. The Left has always been a death cult and a religious theocracy. People preferred to pretend it was ultra modern, a product of the ENlightenment, and thus a secular construction.
       
       

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