Sunday, July 14, 2013
Bastille Day and Religious Freedom
Today is Bastille Day, when France celebrates the Revolution of 1789. As I view the day, I note that the celebration occurs in the midst of the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, just two days before that Feast and just three days before the memorial of the Blessed Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne, whom I discussed with Barbara McGuigan yesterday on The Good Fight and will this Wednesday discuss with Brian Patrick on the Son Rise Morning Show. I sent a version of this post to Barbara as background for our conversation.
Since January 2012, when the Obama administration issued the final version of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate of insurance coverage for “free” contraceptive, abortafacient, and sterilization services, many pundits have cited the historical example of Henry VIII and the English Reformation. See for example, Chris Matthews’ comments on MSNBC: “I guess I grew up watching movies like Becket and A Man for All Seasons and seeing the church and state go to war with each other and being told stories from the Old Testament about the Maccabees, about people, families being told you got to eat pork,” he said. Matthews added that it is “frightening” to him “when the state tells the church what to do.” On The Catholic World Report website, Matthew Cullinan Hoffman saw some parallels between Elizabethan era recusancy laws and the Obama administration’s HHS Mandate against Catholic consciences: