To Which Institution Would You Entrust YOUR Freedom: The Catholic Church or a Secular Republic?

The "Opinion" section of the weekend Wall Street Journal devoted half a page to Archbishop Timothy Dolan's grievances against Obama Administration guidelines for the Affordable Health Care Act. James Taranto's intervew, "When the Archbishop Met the President," was rich in irony. The Archbishop, a high official of an institution with a history of burning alive those who disagreed with its mandates in this life and burning them again for eternity in a hellish afterlife, spoke as if his church were entitled to stand as a credible arbiter of liberty or morality. The appalling gall of such hypocrisy is mind boggling. Actually, it's more than that - it's gobsmackering.

The U.S. Conference of Bishops opposes the birth-control mandate in the health care guidelines because, well, basically because the Catholic Church does not like sex. The church will permit it in instances where sexual union (missionary positions only, with the man on top) may boost membership in their cult, but that's about it. The Catholic leadership labels opposition to their dogmatic rules as "morally toxic." Just the other day (April 5), Pope Benedict XVI assailed disobedience among priests, decrying the efforts of reform-minded Catholics who dare to ask for reforms that would allow the ordination of women and the abolition of celibacy. So much for free speech under Catholicism. In my view, the phrase "morally toxic" better applies to the nature of a superstition that restricts liberty, joy, exuberance and choice in favor of sin, fear, guilt and shame. The Catholic Church is unequalled today in its capacity for Orwellian doublespeak.

In the interview noted above, the Archbishop repeats a mantra of deceit with multiple references to the church as a defender of "the rights of conscience" and "moral imperatives," selflessly guarding against infringments on "religious liberty." Orwell would love it, no doubt.

Mr. Dolan implies that the president and other "ideologues ... favor an ever-more-powerful secular government." Well, as opposed to what - a weaker secular government relative to the forces of theocracy, such as the U.S. Conference of Bishops?

In 1960, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy promised a gathering of ministers in Houston - and the nation, that "my Catholic faith will not inspire my decisions in the White House." What does Dolan think of that? "That's worrisome," he stated.

Well, at least he did not throw up. Rather, the archbishop and the writer of the WSJ article take comfort from the fact that "devout Catholic Rick Santorum is running on the promise that his faith will inform his decisions" and that the U.S. Supreme Court ... has had a Catholic majority since 2006."

I suspect more than a few readers of even the WSJ take little comfort in the candidacy of Mr. Santorum or the composition of the Catholic dominated Supreme Court.

Let freedom - and a more powerful secular government, ring. And prevail.