This column by ACRU Policy Board Member J. Christian Adams was published on August 30, 2013 on The Washington Times website.
Obamacare has pushed the nation toward a moral precipice. The only question is whether or not House Republicans will fund or defund evil.
Listening to Washington insiders debate whether to defund Obamacare, it’s easy to get distracted. Debates about continuing resolutions, risks of a government shutdown, delayed implementation and phony votes in the House to repeal the law ignore a far graver and far simpler truth: Obamacare is a sinister government intrusion into freedom of conscience and personal dignity.
Certainly, the health care law is a burden on business and increases costs for everyone. But how is it evil?
Obamacare violates liberty of conscience. It wrecks religious freedom by mandating that Christians and Catholics participate in—and fund—that which they consider to be dark evil: the destruction of innocent human life.
It also mandates that religious institutions and Christian business owners pay for health care plans containing coverage for expenses that violate their faith. Millions of Obamacare tax dollars will be funneled to organizations such as Planned Parenthood for implementation, an organization that has engaged in the racially motivated destruction of millions of human lives.
Obamacare forcibly eliminates a tenet of Catholic faith in America: the absolute refusal to participate in the destruction of innocent life. The law extinguishes this religious practice.
This is a homegrown version of the same evil that snuffed out religious liberty in various places around the world throughout the 20th century.
Obamacare is evil in other ways.
“Keep government out of the bedroom” is the beloved familiar dogma of liberation. With Obamacare, government won’t just be in the bedroom, it will intrude into the bathroom, into what’s cooking in the kitchen, and into the doctor’s office, nursing home and hospice. Decisions about life and death will be infused with politics and government intrusion. In such a system, base political concerns are certain to influence treatment decisions.
How Americans live their lives and obtain medical care is a private decision between them and those they have chosen to include. When government becomes involved in which neonatal patient is treated, which elderly parent receives care and which parents may fight for the life of their unborn baby, individual human dignity is violated.
Sadly, House Republican leaders have allowed fear to overcome them. They are afraid to defund Obamacare because they dread being blamed for another government shutdown. Like a beaten dog, House leadership is still haunted by the experiences of two decades ago.
The House GOP lost the 1995 government shutdown debate because the four news networks—ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN—created a narrative in partnership with the Democratic Party. The New York Times and The Washington Post said the 1995 shutdown was a disaster for Republicans, so Republicans believed it.
However, it’s not 1995 anymore. Everything is different in 2013.
Fox News and the Tea Party didn’t even exist in 1995. More important, neither did the explosion of conservative new media. The one-sided beating the House GOP took in 1995 can’t happen again. In 2013, conservative media would fight back.
Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican, has filed HR 333, which exposes the false choice of funding Obamacare or shutting down the government. His resolution would keep government running while defunding Obamacare, a position advocated by Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah.
Regardless, GOP fears of political fallout are vanity compared with the genuine issues at stake.
The great figures of the 20th century—Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Pope John Paul II—were not afraid to call evil by name, and act accordingly. “Be not afraid,” was Pope John Paul II’s message to lands where religious freedom had retreated to basement services, secret ordinations and the silent prayers of believers.
House Republicans must gather the courage to understand and proclaim what is at stake. Obamacare debates should not focus on delayed implementation, partial fixes or remediation. The Founders gave the House the power of the purse for just this moment.
James Madison in Federalist 78 said the House “holds the purse reducing all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of government.”
Obamacare debates should focus on how to suffocate and defund this overgrown executive branch prerogative entirely.
House GOP leaders must commit to defund Obamacare. If the Republican Party cannot conjure the moral courage to do so, it may go the way of the Whigs, the last American political party to wobble, then disappear, for failing to confront homegrown evil.