Ken Connor

"In the second century B.C., the foreign tyrant Antiochus IV Epiphanes decreed that all Jews should be forced to violate their religious consciences by publicly eating pork and food sacrificed to idols. 'If any were not willing to eat defiling food, they were to be broken on the wheel and killed' (4 Maccabees 5:3). It was a command of gratuitous forced submission as a sign of Antiochus’s supreme authority to compel obedience by a subject people."

Of course, no one expects President Obama to employ the specter of torture as a means of ensuring compliance with his new policy. We live in a civilized age after all, and who needs torture when you have a vast federal bureaucratic apparatus at your disposal? Who needs over threats of execution when you have the support of an increasingly secular culture for whom the selfish pursuit of pleasure is the only civil liberty that counts? While resistance may seem futile, orthodox Christians and others of faith who are morally opposed to contraception and abortion are duty-bound to resist this flagrant violation of First Amendment liberty.

Catholics are right not to transgress conscience on this issue, and Protestants should stand in solidarity with them even if they don't affirm the same position when it comes to birth control. Given recent cultural, social, and political attitudes towards faith in America – Christianity in particular – one has to wonder, what's next? Who's next? This policy is extremely serious, reflecting government's willingness to promote social engineering at the expense of religious conscience, and President Obama's 11th hour "accommodation" is a dishonest ruse that does nothing more than provide a thin veil of plausible deniability for those that might lack the courage of their convictions.

Harvard pedigree notwithstanding, it appears that the current occupant of the Oval Office could benefit from a remedial course in basic constitutional law. Then again, something tells me this policy has little to do with a misinterpretation of the law and everything to do with advancing a left wing ideology that is increasingly hostile to religion.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.