Increasingly over the years I have been understanding the essential truths of Christian personalism as being radically opposed to the master/slave hermaneutic of human relations established at the fall of Eden. We are framed for love. We come from love; we're made of love; we're called to give ourselves in love and service. That's how we are fulfilled as persons, as individuals and as communities. It's how we realize through our freedom our being made in the Image and Likeness of God.
The fall of Eden was essentially a refusal to love and serve. A preference for domination and servility.
It's interesting to consider the nature of the temptations Satan posed to Jesus in the desert. "Serve me, and I will let you dominate the world."
The utilitarian philosophy now threatening to overwhelm our society comes from this same impulse. We will not serve; we will use; we will dominate. Or else, we won't take responsibility for ourselves and our acts; we will let ourselves be dominated by others in exchange for pleasure and comfort.
The drama of the cosmic struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between personal communion and master/slave dynamics, is now being played out on an national scale in the Obama administration's HHS mandate.
The mandate is not concerned with "women's health", it is concerned with subduing the Church. Its aim is to render individual consciences not free, and persons into objects. It does the same thing on the level of public policy that contraception does on the level of personal relations. We are having set before us a choice. "Life and death." Will we let ourselves be dominated?
Before our very eyes, President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us. A government endowed right granted to women now trumps our unalienable right to act in accordance with our religious beliefs and conscience. Not only does this overturn the First Amendment, it also tramples the nation’s founding principles as announced in the Declaration of Independence. Such an achievement would be the true audacity of power.
The fundamental question is whether the Catholic Church, and by extension, individual Americans have to engage in activities according to the rulings of this and future Presidents, or are we free to live our lives as we choose as long as we do not harm another. Are we free to engage in long standing religious practices that have never before been deemed unlawful, or has the federal government established a de facto state “religion” that it is prepared to enforce through the full coercive power of its financial resources and the imposition of financial penalties.
I say again that we are in the fight of our lives with this election.