Ken Connor

Many people, when they hear talk of the growing "war on Christianity," roll their eyes and dismiss the charges as mere political hyperbole designed to fire up the values voters come election time. While it's true that one's Christian identity is currently not grounds for explicit political or legal persecution, there is a subtler process underway by which Christians are being gradually pushed to the margins of public life. As the forces of secularism continue their march to dominate virtually all aspects of the culture, the faithful remnant of Christian disciples find themselves daily confronted with situations in which their religious convictions come into conflict with reigning secular dogma. The repercussions of such conflicts are significant, and increasingly, unavoidable.

The American Conservative's Rod Dreher recently drew attention to a story out of the United Kingdom, where physicians with the Catholic Medical Association were told that their adherence to traditional Catholic sexual ethics would effectively preclude them from practicing as OB/GYNs in Britain. This is not due to explicit discrimination against Catholics, but a result of the requirements that all licensed OB/GYNs must be willing to carry out in the course of their work with patients.

As reported by the international Catholic news site, the Tablet, the conference of physicians was advised to "emigrate" if they had any notion of allowing their Catholic identity to influence their actions as physicians:

"Dr O'Donnell told the conference at Ealing Abbey, west London, on 17 May that a Catholic training to be a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology would soon find he or she had conscientious objections to such tasks as prescribing artificial contraceptives, giving unmarried couples fertility treatment or Viagra to gay couples.

'To be a sound Catholic regarding sexual ethics it is not possible to train as a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist but this is not because of discrimination against Catholics. There is a total conflict of culture of what is good sex, a dichotomy of belief between what we as Christians believe is good overall for the individual and what secular society believes.'

Ken Connor

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