Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
We are in a war. It is not a war of our choosing, but a war upon us none the less. And if we choose to act as if we are not at war, we will lose. We can pray for the end to war, but if we choose not to fight, we will lose. Prayer cannot help those who refuse to engage in the battle.
The word war seems like the exclusive domain of hyperbole, nobody really does war anymore after all. But whether we like to admit or or not, we are at war. War has been declared on us, open war. The only question is whether we have the will to fight.
I do not choose my words lightly. This is war, a war declared by the anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, militantly secularist Obama administration. I worry whether or not we have the will to win.
The battle over the HHS contraception mandate is the latest battle in a war in which the primary tactic of the enemy is to more and more narrowly re-define freedom of religion as freedom of worship and as something you do in for one hour inside four walls. The rest of the time, you must worship the state.
This is where the soft tyranny of big government turns hard. This may well be the defining moment.
As I said, this is just the latest battle, but it’s one we must win. We can’t win the war here, but we can lose it. And to win a war you don’t just need chaplains, you need generals.
In the wake of the Obama Administration’s decision to force contraceptives on Catholic institutions many Bishops have been calling for prayer and fasting, and that is right and just. But when faced with an existential threat, you don’t just pray the Nazis away, you have to fight on all fronts.
It is fine to pray that the Nazis will stop being Nazis, but it is also right and just to pray for good aim.
Our Bishops need to realize what is at stake here and act accordingly. Many Bishops have already written letters and made videos condemning the unconstitutional actions of the administration. That is good, but more is required. Open and vocal defiance is required. The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin issued a letter this Sunday in which he proclaimed “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens.” That is a good start. Every Bishop needs to do the same. It must be made clear that we WILL NOT COMPLY.
Yet even more will be required. Some have called for very visible civil disobedience by the Bishops to the point of getting arrested. I think this may be a good idea. Yet even more. Kathleen Sebelius is at the spear point of this war on our Church promoting and now forcing abortion and contraception at every turn. If the scandal caused by this “Catholic” woman does not merit excommunication, the remedy is meaningless. Any Catholic who is complicit in this war must be held to account, publicly. This is a war.
We will not comply. We should never have to choose between being a Catholic and being an American. This is an existential threat for the Church in this country as well as for the life of the country as a whole. If we are to win the war, we must win this battle and we need generals willing to fight to the last.
We are praying for you Bishops. We are praying that you have the courage and the conviction to do what is needed. And I for one am praying that you have good aim.