April 4th 2009
By Marie Alena Castle
So now the Catholic hierarchy is upset because Pres. Obama is removing restrictions placed on abortion, same-sex marriage and stem cell research by the Bush Administration. They accuse Obama of being “anti-Catholic” for not wanting to make Catholic doctrine the law of the land. Don’t they pay any attention to the Constitution? It guarantees freedom of religion but forbids government establishment of religion. Obama took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not Canon law.
The Bush restrictions violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause by placing sectarian doctrines into law that have no valid secular justifications. Arguments for the restrictions are based solely on theological constructs that cannot be verified, such as the existence of single-celled persons and marriage as a God-ordained sacrament. (The only secular justification for restricting abortion might be to categorize pregnant women as a public utility subject to government regulation-and wouldn’t that be an interesting debate!)
Theology is none of the government’s business; promoting the general welfare is. No religion has the right to trump the general welfare by imposing its beliefs on all of us through legislation or workplace disruptions and tax coddling.
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