Fighting Outside Their Weight

I don’t think President Obama or Mayor Bloomberg understand who they are picking their fights with. The President seems to want to take on many Christian churches (especially, the Catholics) over the contraception/abortion mandate in Obamacare. Hizzonor’s latest nanny-state move is to prohibit (or heavily restrict) private donations of food to the hungry. Much of those donations come from churches and synagogues. It’s as if they were trying to put private charities out of business.

Religious folk and their charities have been a thorn in the side of control-freak politicians and the power of the state for centuries. In the 4th century, Julian the Apostate, who was trying to restore the worship of pagan gods, complained that it was too hard to compete with the Christians. “The impious Galileans support not only their own poor but ours as well.” I guess he felt that providing help to all who need it, including one’s enemies, was a dirty trick.

Yeah, the President won’t have to stand barefoot in the snow (a la Henry IV) and plead for an audience with the Pope or any other religious leader, but he will eventually have to deal with the fact that the Catholic bishops and other religious leaders are not bluffing. When Catholic and Baptist and other religious hospitals, charities, and schools shut down, the parallel public and private systems will be strained, perhaps past capacity.

Politicians have often misunderstood the power of religion. Stalin once asked how many divisions the Pope had. If President Obama or Mayor Bloomberg don’t understand the power of the churches, they should ask the current Chairman of the Soviet Union.

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