No more would governments presume to tell men what they must think. Conscience had been liberated. President Obama doesn't care what you think, so long as you join him in helping to destroy the unborn on demand. And help him by paying for it. The Virginia Statute of 1786 freed citizens from having to pay taxes to churches whose doctrines they disbelieved and whose worship practices they did not share. Now, all Americans are forced to join President Obama's professed ignorance of when human life begins, when the unborn come to possess the right to life. Abraham Lincoln had no such doubts as this Illinois president expresses. He said "nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon." That firm faith impelled Lincoln to reject human bondage inspires millions of Americans to reject this slaughter of innocents.
Madison wrote in Federalist No. 51 that the multiplicity of sects (religious denominations) is what enabled Virginians to establish religious freedom in 1786. And he argued that the checks and balances of the new Constitution would be preserve civil liberty in the new American republic. That's what's in danger now. If the Obama Mandate stands, Americans will all be forced either to violate their own consciences or be taxed for the suppression of other Americans' consciences. We have long recognized conscientious objection in granting exemptions from the military draft. President Obama's proposed religious exemption from his abortion mandate is so narrowly drawn that it is questionable whether even Jesus' ministry would qualify.
We are putting at risk America's unique contribution to the world: religious freedom. How much longer can we say, with George Washington, that in America "each shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council.