Friday, October 17, 2008

What we have to look forward to

The Wall Street Journal has a chilling look into the future under an Obama regime. I'm embarrassed that it hadn't occurred to me before that with both houses overwhelmingly Democratic, this election will probably eliminate the last check on left-wing power. There are a number of things to be worried about, but what scares me the most is the effect on free speech.
- Free speech and voting rights. A liberal supermajority would move quickly to impose procedural advantages that could cement Democratic rule for years to come. One early effort would be national, election-day voter registration. This is a long-time goal of Acorn and others on the "community organizer" left and would make it far easier to stack the voter rolls. The District of Columbia would also get votes in Congress -- Democratic, naturally.

Felons may also get the right to vote nationwide, while the Fairness Doctrine is likely to be reimposed either by Congress or the Obama FCC. A major goal of the supermajority left would be to shut down talk radio and other voices of political opposition.

Now, it's possible that once Obama is elected, he'll lay off the brownshirt tactics against his critics. I'm not betting on it, however. Once he's in power, he'll have to stay there, and to consolidate it for his successors. Expect to see something like the blogger lawsuits happening in Canada against Mark Steyn, Kathy Shaidle, et. al. on the one hand, and FCC licenses being pulled from radio stations that air conservative talk shows on the other. The Internet as a whole is beyond effective regulation, but it's possible to make it too expensive for the opposition to speak.

Two other things that the article doesn't mention:
Free exercise of religion: The top priorities on the Democratic agenda are gay marriage and abortion. Now, I know it's not a popular stance for a Christian to take, but I really don't care all that much if the secular government wants to recognize homosexual unions. Other people's love lives aren't really my problem. Nor do I care who wants to share community property with whom, or designate whom as an insurance beneficiary, or any of that. Those are a matter for secular law, not religions to which the principals don't belong anyway. (I think it'd be less hypocritical if the state also recognized polygamous marriages on the same principle, but the polygamy lobby isn't as popular, so it ain't a-gonna happen.)

What I have a problem with is being required to consider those unions a marriage. I don't care if other people do, but my religion defines pretty carefully what is and isn't a marriage, and it's my right to adhere to that. It's also the right of religious institutions to determine whom they do or don't consider married.

This is not a minor matter. Churches that employ paid staff often have a lifestyle requirement that mandates that employees will not violate the teachings of that church. So do church-run schools and universities. When I went to Warner Pacific College in the early 90s, I had to sign an agreement that I would not drink, smoke, attend dances or fornicate. Those things were contrary to the Church of God, Anderson Indiana, which ran the school. (Or as we called it, Church of the Holy Hoosier.) Whether I considered them a sin was irrelevant. It is a church's right to require that both members and employees conform to certain standards of behavior. You don't like that, go to a secular school or work for a secular business.

My church, for instance, doesn't consider anybody married who has been divorced from a still-living spouse. Undoubtedly there are cases where the Catholic Church extends the benefits of marriage - employment or insurance, say - to people whose marriages are invalid under canon law, but there's a difference. A heterosexual marriage, even if invalidly contracted, is capable of being made valid. The ex-spouse could die, or the original marriage could be declared null, or something. For all the Church knows, the couple that was invalidly married last week could be convalidated tomorrow. The couple can be treated as married because there is no definitive proof that they are not. (Yes, I'm oversimplifying it, but bear with me.)

A homosexual marriage, by definition, cannot be valid under Church law. No matter what the circumstances, two people of the same sex are not married in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Period. Does anybody really believe that a completely Democratic government will respect the rights of churches in this? Couple the current trend of mandatory approval with suppression of free speech, and I don't foresee much hope for the right to dissent. As St. Jack said, they'll tell you that you can have your religion in private, and then they'll make sure you're never alone.

I don't have time to get into how an unchecked Democratic regime will affect the abortocaust, but that one scares me even more. To be continued...

No comments: