I’m kind of pumped about President Obama’s victory. Wait! Before you go to the comment box to either argue with me or congratulate me, let me explain why.
Last Tuesday, when I saw that President Obama would continue leading our country, I felt crushed. I wasn’t expecting anything different and I’m no lover of Romney, but I knew it was a crushing blow to my family, my beloved Church family. The Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate is a mandate to Obamacare that will require companies to pay for insurance that will provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures. This mandate includes all organizations even if that organization is morally opposed to those things. Because of Obama's re-election it will be allowed to continue. Christian organizations were given one year to comply and that deadline is quickly approaching.
The organizations have several options: 1) comply, 2) pay a hefty fine (for Hobby Lobby it will be $1.3 million a day), 3) drop health care coverage for its employees, or 4) close its doors all together. I'm assuming in most cases if the organization does No. 2 or 3, it will result in No. 4. The choices are grim, but I pray the Church chooses correctly. I pray it fights until it has to start closing its doors on schools, hospitals, charities, retail stores, etc., and refusing to comply until that time the mandate is overturned or at least modified to either exclude organizations morally opposed to it or no longer include coverage for life-ending services.
But I don’t suspect it will be overturned or even modified easily, and I see a lot of pain in the future of my Church. I see religious leaders and Christians everywhere being truly persecuted for not wishing to waiver in their belief that all life is valuable and that things that are destructive to that life are also destructive to our culture as a whole. I don’t want to be a doomsayer, but if we act like we should, we’ll be getting a lot of press about our unwavering opposition to the point of humiliation, bankruptcy, jail time, or worse. Basically, I think it will get worse before it gets better.
But it will get better; first because our God is faithful to His faithful and abounding in mercy, and second because I think this has a purpose. It’s time to strengthen our Church on the national and international scales. We’ve grown silent on issues we are afraid will drive people from the pews. We've ignored shifts in culture because we're afraid to look like what this world describes as bigots and antiques. We've decided that telling people what is right and wrong is none of our business because if we do there will be no one left to tell. We’ve become divided within one body, and if a body is divided, it dies.
I’m already personally thankful for President Obama’s past term and the HHS Mandate. Without it my group of friends may have never talked about the Church’s teaching on birth control as frequently as they did. It took many, many discussions before I found NFP and realized I was rejecting a crucial part of my vocation of marriage, my faith, and my responsibility to other humans. It’s made me an ardent supporter of NFP and has made me a better wife, Christian, and neighbor. I think allowing the mandate to persist so that we can oppose it publicly on a national stage will strength true Christians, will evangelize to those who are not, and push out the door those too complacent to fight.
So that’s why I’m ready for President Obama’s next four years. They will be a true test of our Church and our individual faith journeys. I am relinquishing to God my fear, however, that many of my Christian brothers and sisters will not fight the mandate. I will more than likely suffer each time an institution, which call itself Christian, complies with the mandate and provides/funds the services that end life. And maybe I won’t see the end or modification of the mandate before I die, but I think this will make our Church stronger. Smaller perhaps, as people will inevitably leave, but what remains will be stronger.