Human Events Blog

Judgment Without Conscience

Asked about ObamaCare’s assault on religious liberty by reporters on Thursday, and whether he would stand by his decision to force the Catholic Church to pay for contraceptive products it finds morally offensive, President Obama laughed the question off.  Everyone should get used to that.  Questioning the almighty State is an increasingly ludicrous proposition.

The entire point of Obama-style mega-government is to impose its judgment upon the citizens.  The Left often accuses religious people, conservatives, and anyone else they dislike of being “judgmental,” but the State is far more judgmental than even the most narrow-minded prude, and only the State has the power to enforce its judgments.

What were those massive bailouts and “stimulus” payments, but the State’s judgment enforced upon the free market?  What consumers sentenced to death was granted reprieve… and those very same consumers were forced to pay for it. 

What are Obama’s “green energy” failures, but his effort to judge the free market’s hunger for affordable energy as unfit and unclean?  The President has spoken openly of his belief that America’s economy must be “transformed” in line with his ideology.  Transformation is coercive.  Those phantom “green jobs” were created with raw political power.  That’s why they didn’t last, once the million-dollar subsidies ran out.

In California, the desire of a solid majority of voters to protect the traditional meaning of “marriage” was judged unworthy.  Those voters did everything right, properly using the mechanisms provided by their state constitution to amend it.  Their democratic victory was overridden by the “superior” moral sensibility of a couple of judges.  The question of re-defining marriage is no longer up for discussion, any more than abortion is.  Your moral sensibility and judgment are irrelevant.  Only one answer to these questions is acceptable.  The pretense that they are “questions” at all is eroding rapidly.

Many people find Planned Parenthood an objectionable organization, but their judgment is irrelevant, because they are compelled, by force of law, to fund it anyway.  The last time a serious attempt was made to challenge this, the Democrat Party threatened to shut down the entire government. 

Now we have the government compelling Catholic organizations to fund products and services they object to, on religious grounds.  This is being done because the distribution of contraceptives is considered a settled issue by the ruling class – a positive and absolute good from which no dissent is acceptable.  The State is now the sole judge of all matters related to public health.  You’ll be amazed how many issues become matters of “public health,” in the years to come.

Remember when the Republican presidential candidates were subjected to a bizarre grilling by George Stephanopolous, former Clinton flack transformed into ABC news personality, about whether or not they supported the rights of state governments to forbid contraceptives?  Stephanopolous was asking the wrong question.  It is resistance to the distribution of birth control that has been officially forbidden, and not at the state level.

The Catholic contraception controversy is not the end of this process, nor the beginning.  It’s just an important step along the path to rendering individual judgment wholly irrelevant.  This is an inevitable consequence of the growth of government.  Government is force.  It’s all about making people do things, or refrain from doing things.  The increasing size of government naturally involves a greater imposition of collective judgment upon the public.  You don’t need laws and giant government programs to make people do what they were freely willing to do anyway.  “Free will” is the name we give to spaces the State has not yet occupied.

Anyone who wasn’t paying attention during the passage of ObamaCare is learning a series of painful lessons about just how much compulsive force was packed into its thousands of pages, many of which were completed only after its passage.  They’re also becoming uncomfortably aware of how much moral judgment President Obama’s “signature achievement” will press upon them.  It’s too bad they weren’t listening when he was stumping for the law, or indeed when he was running for President.  A great deal of his coercive agenda was presented as a moral imperative.  Opposition will naturally be weighed in the balance, and found wanting.

Remember when the Left was loudly opposed to “legislating morality?”  If we’re lucky, we’ll get to hear them go back to talking that way, next January.


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