And yet President Obama, having forced religious organizations to seek relief from the Supreme Court for his coercive health care mandates, adds to the problem by proclaiming a Gospel According to Secularism, where the only acceptable faith is superficial, sentimental and adapted to ideology and political campaigns. Real religious freedom leaves room for a radical exercise of liberty, where faith doesn't have to be compartmentalized but can be the core of one's identity, infusing one's life and vocation.
"There is only one real kind of poverty," the pope wrote in his recent Lenten message, "not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ." Doing so is a radical lifestyle choice that requires an integrated, wholesale commitment. Nuns who run homes for the elderly and poor should simply not have to choose between following their consciences or paying fines because the White House follows a different agenda, one born of a radical ideology hostile to their deepest convictions.
During the same week that the president and the pope will meet for the first time, the Supreme Court will hear its first Obamacare-related case involving the Department of Health and Human Services, the Green family that runs the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts chain and the Mennonite Hahn family that runs Conestoga Wood, a lumber company in Pennsylvania. The president wants you to look away from what's happening here at home and feel good about his lip service to protecting innocent human life and religious freedom.
But we're paying more attention than that. Aren't we?(Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online, director of Catholic Voices USA and a consultant with the Magnificat Foundation. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)
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