VIEWPOINT: Government commands too much of the public square
By STEVE RICHARDSON
In the United States there are many participants in the public square — business, entertainment, education, family, religion, federal government, state governments, charities, health care, etc. These participants are constantly bumping up against each other, sometimes cooperating, perpetually struggling to maintain (or expand) their share of space in the public square.
This social arrangement is part of the checks and balances that help prevent any one player from monopolizing power. In the former Soviet Union, everything was the state and nothing was outside the state. The state occupied all the space in the public square. Fortunately, our founders established a society that opposed the communist model. However, in recent times our national political imagination has undergone a transformation that was as stealthy as it was ill-considered.
For most of our history we did not, but do now, equate education with the state. Prayer is no longer allowed in education because it has become a violation of the separation of church and state, and since the state (federal government) contributes funds to education, education has become the state. In the past education was an autonomous participant in society, but has now been hijacked by the state, and we as a people have blithely assent to the collapse of the wall of separation that used to exist between education and state. The union of these two was unwise and has contributed to unhealthy consequences in our American democratic experiment.
Now we are being asked to allow the state to occupy even more of the public square by the union of health care and state. There are countless reasons (especially in dollars) to oppose this, but there is one I have not heard addressed yet. My concern is this: if we allow the union of health care and state, how long will it take for health care to become the state, and how long before the ACLU imposes its anti-religious doctrine of separation of church and state onto health care?
With its coffers overflowing from the spoils of its faith-based blackmail imposed on taxpayers through litigation related to education, the ACLU will then turn its attention to banishing religion from health care, further imposing its liberal secular agenda.
The ACLU will demand that chapels be removed from hospitals; that nurses and doctors not be allowed to wear religious jewelry to work; that ministers be restricted from hospital visits; that Bibles, religious symbols, and Christmas trees be purged from health care facilities; that nurses and doctors be banned from praying at hospitals. (Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman of Pace High School on Sept. 17 face criminal charges in federal court brought by the ACLU for a mealtime prayer). It happened in education and it will happen in health care if it is taken over by government.
It is a predictable pattern — unite a particular space in the public square with government, then the ACLU purges that space of religion and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars from taxpayers in the process.
Here is another example: To honor World War I veterans, in 1934 some private citizens in Arizona made two pieces of metal into a cross and mounted it on a hill 11 miles from the nearest highway. Everything was fine until President Clinton incorporated the site into the Mojave National Preserve. It was then the ACLU saw opportunity and filed suit to have the cross removed as a violation of the Constitution.
What did the ACLU get for attempting to destroy a symbol of faith and a statement of honor for American heroes? It received tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees for its lawyers to finance even more forms of religious bigotry.
A former ACLU lawyer, Rees Lloyd, who resigned in revolt because of their overzealous, anti-religious bigotry, now works with the American Legion and they are on the forefront in the battle to preserve the rights of Americans and end the suffocating wickedness of legalized tyranny. Lloyd called the ACLU “the Taliban of American liberal secularism.” In March 2001 the Taliban destroyed the 2,000-year-old Buddha sculptures in Afghanistan, and in March 2002 the ACLU tried to destroy the Mojave Desert Cross. [Editor’s note: The case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.]
The American people are saying “no” to the government takeover of health care and have many reasons for doing so, and the preservation of the free exercise of religion is one of those reasons. We have to continue to awaken from our political slumbers and protect our freedoms from encroachment by an ever-sprawling government. http://www.newsherald.com/common/printer/view.php?db=newsherald&id=77351