|St. Thomas More: Beheaded by Henry VIII|
Let's suppose that George W. Bush mandated that every employer had to provide to its employees a newspaper every day and that every newspaper that participated in this plan had to include a section dedicated to advancing the policies of the Bush Administration. The justification for this is that people are entitled to the truth and no person should be excluded from receiving information.
Perhaps, the New York Times might argue that it is unfair that they should be forced to print something that violates their beliefs. They might argue that "Freedom of the Press" is being violated. They might argue that it is outrageous that they should be compelled to publish what fundamentally violates their principles. .
But, the Bush Administration might argue that it knows better than these people on policy matters. And besides, just because the New York Times embraces an extremely liberal agenda, they sell indiscriminately to conservatives and to liberals. On their payroll are democrats and republicans. They might even have on their payrolls persons who voted for George Bush. Those employees, says the Bush Administration, have a fundamental right to hear the truth as it is defined by the Bush Administration.
The above scenario is admittedly an absurd one. It is not any more absurd, however, than the Obama administration forcing Catholic institutions to purchase and provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients. One big difference between the two scenarios is that one is just imaginary and the other is really happening. The Catholic Church is not seeking to impose its will upon the rest of the country. The Obama Administration is seeking to impose its will upon the Catholic Church.
I wish that I could say that this might serve as a wake-up call to Catholics in the United States, but I think it is too early to put my hopes in that basket. The Church and civil officials ought to work together in a spirit of collaboration and for the common good. But, for a long time, the Church has allowed herself to play the dupe. It might be worthwhile for the architects of the Catholic Church's current model of engagement with political officials in the United States to do a self-evaluation. Has their way of engaging worked? If they answer, "no," then they should come up with a new plan. If they answer, "Yes," then they should be sent off to find a new job because their plan is to lead us into disaster.