I”ll admit that I have always been a bit of an “unconventional” thinker – lots of different things fascinate me. I read articles and books on things that interest me. Sometimes, I end up seeing weird connections – my thinking takes me way off of the beaten path (Paul hates taking me to mystery movies – I almost always figure out whodunnit about 5 minutes into the picture). Today I’m going to invite you to follow me down my rabbit hole…..
When I was a young and impressionable girl, I became fascinated with Anne Boleyn and her love affair with Henry VIII – back then, she struck me as a tragic romantic heroine (the movie “Anne of the Thousand Days” came out when I was in junior high). My friends and I used to read the Jean Plaidy novels about Elizabethan England – maybe it was the dresses that we liked; who knows? I was one of those girls who loved princesses and fairy tales.
I also liked the story of the American Revolution, and I was fortunate enough to have some really fantastic teachers who brought that part of our country’s history alive for me. The movie “1776” came out when I was in junior high, and my love of the musical score made me want to learn more about that time period as well.
Then there were movies like “A Man for All Seasons“, which examined the political turmoil behind the scenes of the Anne Boleyn/Henry VIII drama, and the lengths to which one man with a great deal of power was willing to go for what he wanted, and how he was willing to get rid of anyone who stood in his way, including men of great integrity.
There have been many books, movies, and TV series written about that particular time in history – it’s got all of the things that you need for a great story: love, murder, intrigue, clashes of will, etc. What they haven’t made as many movies about is the tumultuous period AFTER Henry VIII got his wish – the bloody aftermath that nearly tore a country apart at the seams.
I’ve often thought that it was their memory of what was – for them – fairly recent history that influenced our Founding Fathers to make sure that one of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution was that of Freedom of (or more technically, FROM) Religion.
Their recent ancestors had seen a country literally go to war with both itself and the Roman Catholic Church as the result of one man’s lust. At the same time, the Protestant Reformation had made its way across Europe, and had reached England’s shores.
One or more advisors got the bright idea to suggest to Henry VIII that he could name himself the “Supreme Head of the Church in England” – which would allow him to both grant himself an annulment from Queen Catherine (thus freeing him to marry Anne Boleyn) and allow the State to keep all of the money and property which had heretofore belonged to the Catholic Church.
This new and unfettered power had far-reaching effects, and many heads quite literally rolled as a result when people in England refused to accept the new State religion. Many people had their titles and/or property taken away from them as well, if they didn’t do what the King/State wanted them to do.
I’ve often thought that the ramifications of that ill-fated love affair rippled all the way across the Atlantic to a fledgling nation more than 250 years later. Our founding fathers knew how vitally important it was that people be allowed to practice their respective faiths without fear of persecution from their government.
I’ve watched the unfolding events of this past week with more than a passing interest – President Obama seems genuinely stunned at the vehement response that has occurred as a result of his decision to require all healthcare providers to provide various means of birth control. He just doesn’t seem to think that this is – to use VP Biden’s now infamous words – “a big f***in’ deal”.
Frankly, I’m not surprised at HIS surprise; let’s face it, the man didn’t spend his formative years growing up in the United States – he was literally half a world away. I wouldn’t expect someone who was in a non-American elementary school in a foreign country to have learned about American History.
Even when he moved back to the US as a young teen, he came back to a state that had only been part of the United States for just a few years more than he had been alive – I’m sure that “American History” was quite a different course in Hawaii than it was in Virginia or Pennsylvania.
Those of us who have never known anything different have sort of taken our freedom from religious persecution as something of a given. It isn’t until you take the time to look around at the rest of the world that you start to understand what a truly unique gift we were given by our Founding Fathers when they insisted upon inclusion of that protection in the First Amendment in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
Which is why people of ALL persuasions – on both sides of the aisle – are so up in arms over an edict handed down by those in power, essentially telling us that the government has the power to compel a group of people to betray their religious convictions because it is what the STATE demands.
What is especially egregious is that there are religious groups (e.g. Muslims, Amish) that have already been exempted from having to participate in Obamacare BY VIRTUE OF THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AGAINST IT.
The man who claims to be a “Constitutional Scholar” certainly appears to be demonstrating that he’s, well….not.
Mr. Obama and his administration are trying to walk this back, but the damage has been done. People are hopefully seeing what a destructive force Obamacare could be; I only hope that the Supreme Court Justices are paying attention – the Executive Branch tipped their hand on this one.
Thank goodness for our Founding Fathers’ understanding of what human beings will do when they have too much unchecked power, and their wisdom in constructing a document that has – thus far – ensured that another Henry VIII will never be able to destroy this country because of a personal lust for money, love, or power.
May it always continue to be that way in this nation that I love so very much.
[Cross-posted at RedState]
[Update 02/08/12]: Thanks to Pundit and Pundette for linking this article!
[Update 02/10/12]: Thanks to Chris Wysocki for linking me over at WyBlog!
I only have one bone to pick with your analysis.
It wasn’t about freedom FROM religion. It was about freedom from the FEDERAL government favoring any one sect at the expense of others.
At the time the First Amendment was ratified, many of the states (but not all) still had “official” state religions, and retained them for years after. Thomas “wall of separation between church and state” Jefferson, and his protege, James Madison, frequently attended Sunday sermons in the old House chamber.
It wasn’t about putting religion in a box; it was about preventing the sectarian strife that soaked Europe in blood several times in history.
Yeah, I guess I could have worded that better, huh? That’s essentially what I meant – freedom from an overall national imposition of a religion (like what we are seeing today in the “Arab Spring” – nice job, Mr. President….).
That poor, poor, Prez…. hampered from doing what he wishes by a scrap of paper.
That was sarcasm, by the way 😉
I wonder if anyone is asking why the Catholics are being targeted this way.
I know, right? You’d think a “Constitutional Scholar” would KNOW that a mere scrap of paper is what keeps a President from being able to be a King.
In this case, I think the “big C” Catholics are taking the heat for the “little C” catholics – they represent ALL religious organizations. And it’s because the religion of liberals is Statism…..
no the religion of liberals is Buddhism
Not sure I understand the argument on this one. Not sure but I don’t think the bible said anything about “thou shalt not have Catholic Hospital Insurance providers cover a woman’s birth control if she so chooses to be on birth control but she can still choose not to take said birth control…thus sayeth the lord” or something?
I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t say “Thou shalt have health insurance” either…..
The blog post isn’t about Catholicism; it’s about whether a State (i.e., govermnent, whatever form it may take) can compel/force you to do something without just cause, and impose a penalty (up to and including death) if you do not do what they want.
My argument is that our Founding Fathers had seen/heard about/read about what happened when that occurred, and wanted to set up a system of government where that couldn’t happen – where citizens were FREE from government compulsion.
Remember, one of the provisions of Obamacare was the hiring of 15,000 new IRS agents, so that the government can ENFORCE their will upon the people.
A special section was added to Obamacare to SPECIFICALLY exempt certain religious groups who had a “moral” objection to the idea of insurance. I assume these groups will be allowed to have their own health “systems” which allow them to provide (and receive) medical care without violating their religious beliefs.
And yet, Christian groups who have a moral objection to one aspect of Obamacare are being told, “Too bad, you have to violate your beliefs because the State says so” – a clear-cut case of the law being applied unequally.
Not only that, but this particular provision (the contraception clause) was never passed into law – it was decreed from the HHS. There was no debate on the issue, no public discussion on something that will affect the citizenry of this nation – and the way that Obamacare is set up, there NEVER will be. Whatever one person (the sitting Secretary of HHS) decides should be included in Obamacare will BE included in Obamacare, and you and I will not have any recourse to change that.
If somewhere down the line the HHS decides that mammograms/birth control pills/cancer treatment are too expensive for Obamacare to cover, they can take it out of things that are covered, and nobody will be able to do anything about it (the breast cancer survival rates in England are abysmal).
Of course not, the Bible hated big government, health insurance & crony capitalism. 🙂
Still think this issue is grasping at straws…the “founding fathers” probably couldn’t have imagined much that takes place in our time nevermind the fact that they were the same group who implemented a powerful federal government that protected the rights of it citizens through the constitution here I believe that right is being extended to women regardless of religious belief. If they were being told they had to take birth control that is another story, here it’s just making the insurance plan cover it if they so choose to take it. A regulation most of the founding fathers could agree with and comprehend.
Besides when a religion starts directing individual freedoms it sounds more like that other religion…you know, the one the Islams practice.
But contraception isn’t a “right”, it’s a “choice”. It is also a SERVICE, which has a COST.
Health care and/or Health Insurance isn’t a “right”, it’s a SERVICE. Money changes hands.
It’s not like people who work for a Catholic organization can’t get insurance from some other source (the government “plan”, for example). Should a Muslim organization be required to provide healthcare services for any non-Muslims who work for them? AIDs coverage, for instance? Even though the Muslim faith is fanatically anti-gay?
Incidentally, the only “rights” that the Federal government was ever intended to protect were the “inalienable” rights – life, freedom, the ability to do what you want as long as it doesn’t harm another person. You may not deprive a person of their life, their freedom, or their legally-held property without just cause.
The legal community has so twisted the definition of “rights” that I doubt the Founding Fathers would recognize them today.
The Constitution was written to protect the people FROM the power of an over-reaching government. It is a document of “negative” liberties as it applies to government entities. The government should never be allowed to impose its will upon the people.
birth control isn’t healthcare, it is a birth control measure that is part of a healthcare plan offered by a comany or usiness. If a person has healthcare and has employment it makes sense that the service be an option. where you see it as a “choice” and not a “right”, I see it more as a “right to choose”.
As for the later part of your comment regarding Obamacare’s inhumane function, I see it as a scare tactic at best. It would never happen and is laughable to suggest that it might. Remember prior to this plan the already existing insurance companies had the ability to turn people away because of a pre-existing condition. Health should not be something one PROFITS from because the motive of the sick and the person treating the sick are two disticntly different things. Where a sick person will try to find a way to be cured, the healer will keep the person sick and spending. Senseless an cruel.
What incentive does a private company have in curing someone? Once the disease is cured what would their function be? In terms of medical comparison this country is in no place to criticize as we lack the ability to treat millions of people and our survival rates and incident rates of cancer are higher than most modern industrialized nations.
The legal community hasn’t distorted “rights” they have just placed definition to it in an ever evolving society, where the rights of today certainly do not identically match the rights of 300+ years ago, as they shouldn’t.
The legislators who VOTED TO PASS Obamacare didn’t think that Catholic organizations would be required to provide services which went against their conscience – how on EARTH could you think that It would never happen and is laughable to suggest that it might.? Both Bart Stupak and Kathy Dahlkemper just gave interviews saying that they wouldn’t have voted for Obamacare if they knew it was going to be abused like this!
I’ve got news for you – not only CAN it happen, I guarantee that IT WILL. The government has POWER now, and they aren’t going to let go of it without a fight.
Health should not be something one PROFITS from
You’re kidding, right? Doctors have bills to pay, as do nurses, healthcare workers, and hospitals. Do you honestly think for one minute that the government isn’t going to PROFIT from this? Guess again. Once the government is in charge of everyone’s healthcare (and that’s coming too – they said as much already), you will be given whatever “healthcare” they deem is “adequate”, and no more. You won’t have any recourse because a) They’re the only game in town; and b) You can’t sue the federal government.
What incentive does a private company have in curing someone?
Oh, gee I don’t know – maybe because THAT’S WHAT THEY DO, and if they don’t, then they stop getting clients referred to them? How many people do you know who go to bad doctors when they have a choice to go to a good one instead? I’ve got news for you – an awful lot of GOOD doctors are getting out of the business of practicing medicine because they see where all of this is heading, and they want no part of it. Guess who that leaves behind? (Hint – it ain’t the GOOD doctors).
It won’t happen because people in government have checked power…voted out of office. You did see the reaction just off of planned parenthood…that would be minor in comparison. No politician is that dumb. As for “Both Bart Stupak and Kathy Dahlkemper giving interviews saying that they wouldn’t have voted for Obamacare if they knew it was going to be abused like this!” really politicians changing their story…no doubt because they care.
Doctors don’t cure people. pharmaceutical companies do…how is that going? Pretty easy if not manipulative to make a buck off of someone when you say here take this pill or you will die but it won’t cure you. Again you issue is with profit, health should NOT be a profit discussion. To me the goals of the two couldn’t be more opposite.
You’re right our best and brightest potential doctors are too busy entering the financiall industry where people make a ton of money, for doing nothing.
Fred, darlin’ – I love ya, really I do, but you are insulting good people with your comments about their motives. If you want to carry on this discussion, you are going to have to think your responses through all the way to the end. What you say doesn’t make any sense – NOBODY goes into a profession so that they can’t feed their family, and NOBODY who wants to stay in business is going to do shoddy work, because they can’t stay in business if they do.
I love 1776! I saw it for the first time when my son played the part of the Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon in a community theater production of it. It was wonderful!
I also love “A Man for All Seasons” — one of my favorite movies.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many people on conservative blogs have seen and love 1776 – I always thought I was an odd duck! Then, I found “my people”….. 😛
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Fred – Are you willfully obtuse or stupid?
how is that the case? really?
Let’s close it up for tonight, fellas – my Myasthenia is acting up, and I don’t have the energy to babysit the thread for the rest of the evening…..
@ MCPO Im thinking the former.
TerribleTroy & MCPO so because I disagree with you I am either willingly obtuse or stupid. That alone makes it look like stones are being thrown in a glass house but hey whatever works for you guys.
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