With the decision that Obamacare will stand as the law of the land means that America — home of the brave, land of the free — is no more. This great country, the one to whom all great refugee movements of the world for over two centuries saw as the light to escape poverty, political bondage, and hopelessness now turns its back on that legacy of freedom for what will, in a very short time, amount to a bowl of pottage.
The turn to tyranny won't happen overnight and it won't be recognized as tyranny — not at first anyway. But as freedom gets chipped away the straight jacked gets tighter and then hardens to envelop the mind like a steel casket. By the middle of the next generation those who gave away their freedom in the name of freedom will be cursed by their own children. The children will weep by the waters of Babylon, unearthing old movies and books of an America they never knew. "Why did you not shout out against the decline?" they will cry.
Antonio Gramsci, that great architect of the coming oppression was a shrewd man. He understood that the overthrow of the great liberal tradition would be a journey that would take generations. It would require a long march through the cultural institutions, overthrowing line by line and precept by precept those bedrock moral values upon which the freedom of men was first defined and later codified into law. Today the children of the great people of the Magna Carta, of English Common Law, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution worship instead pleasure, safety, and wealth.
The God of Abraham has been forgotten, the same God who freed Abraham from the delusion of polytheism and the Israelite from the tyranny of Egypt, who gave man a Gospel from which insights into the nature and dignity man was drawn, and whose teachings unleashed a creativity that brought healing and light into a world in ways that would astonish the prophets and philosophers of old. And in that forgetting, we embrace a darkness the depth of which most of us do not yet perceive.
The path of the free West now follows the path of Russia under the Soviets. When men scorn and ridicule the good, noble, and true, darkness is always the end. The promise of a new enlightenment free from the shackles of self-restraint and morality is a delusion. When man refuses to govern himself, he will give his liberty to a strong man so that order will prevail. The strong man is glad to take it, and in short order will demand even more to satiate his unquenchable thirst for power. We have just crossed that threshold. Dostoevsky warned us. So did Nietzsche.
Religion is the wellspring of morality and morality is the ground of culture. The encroaching darkness will have no room for religion because faith in God stands as the repudiation of those who see no transcendent referent for truth. Man becomes his own touchstone. We've seen the outlines of the coming struggles already in the HHS mandates trying to force the Catholic Church to submit to policies that violate its moral precepts. This is just the beginning.
One hope remains: The Republicans take all three branches of government in the next election and overturn this monstrosity. It is possible the Republicans win, but whether they have the political will to overturn Obamacare completely is another question. The cultural rot may be too deep. Maybe there are enough clear thinking Americans left. I hope so but I am not confident.
Expect the hostility towards Christians to increase. Watch too for justifications for this grave loss of liberty in the name of compassion and the greater public good from some religious leaders. Some of our leaders have already traded courage for acclaim as evidenced by their silence towards the attacks on the laws and precepts that defend human life and other bedrock principles. These leaders know that every defense of human life has its root and source in the self-revelation of God to us but they choose Esau's legacy over the Apostles'.
We may have to prepare for the catacombs. The government has been granted a license to control every aspect of your behavior under the rubric of the public good. Those who claim there is a law higher than the State will be seen as an enemy. It can't be any other way.
Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse is an Orthodox priest living in Naples, FL. he directs the American Orthodox Institute, and editor of OrthodoxyToday.org. Fr. Hans provides Orthodox Christians today with updated news and articles on social, cultural and political events from an Orthodox Christian moral tradition. His editorials and essays have been published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Duluth News Tribune, International Herald Tribune, Hellenic Voice, Breakpoint website, Front Page Magazine website, Institute for Religion and Democracy website, Discover website, and more. He is also a past fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.