Kathryn Lopez
Recommend this article

Michelle Obama, in her speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last week, explained that her husband "believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care."

If you're anything like me, you would like to believe the first lady on general principle. "Just say no to drugs"; "Read"; "Exercise": These are good messages that have come from first ladies, including this one. Life is more complicated than simple slogans, however, and in this particular narrative, she was putting a spin on the redefining of religious liberty that's occurred under her husband's administration.

The Obama administration's position is not so much "women are more than capable of making our own choices," but that the price of women's freedom is the curtailing of religious liberty, because women's freedom is dependent on the treatment of fertility as a disease, and the idea of pregnancy as something to be shunned and prevented.

Currently, Obama's Justice Department is arguing in federal courts that business owners must go along with health care that covers contraception and abortion, regardless of their religious beliefs about such delicate matters. Women's "freedom" under the Obama administration forces some Americans to make a choice between integrity and compliance. Faith-based institutions that simply can't give in will face crippling fines -- conveniently after the election.

"Freedom" in this understanding is actually nothing but a secular ideology that drives religion to the margins, more a matter of ceremony than the "indispensible support" our first president considered it. The Health and Human Services insurance mandate represents a political enshrinement of the sexual revolution by government diktat, which makes clear that despite all the talk of "choice," the "freedom" of the Obama administration is something very different from what is commonly understood.

Not everyone came off as mainstream as Mrs. Obama in spinning the policies and philosophy of her husband's administration. An opening video frankly stated the latter: "Government is the only thing we all belong to." Speakers included an army of abortion-rights activists, including the president of NARAL and representatives from Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood, as well as the pro-choice women of the House and Senate.

Recommend this article

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.