Obama’s statist “religious freedom”

This, from Heritage Foundation’s Dominique Ludvigson via the Wall Street Journal, fleshes out what I mean when I call Obama’s insouciance on religious freedom “statist”:

Religious institutions and individuals should not have to sue the government to preserve the freedom to define their own missions. But they’re left with little choice in the brave new world unleashed by the national health-care law.

The HHS mandate breaks with our best traditions of recognizing the free exercise of religion as a public good and broadly accommodating religious practice and expression. It sees religion as “in the way” and interprets religious freedom as narrowly as possible – as freedom for worship and religious exercise within the walls of a church or only among its members.

The requirement also commandeers and marginalizes some of the very institutions of civil society that help preserve limited government.It’s the symptom of a broader disease – the Obama administration’s belief that government has unlimited power to curb freedom at will. Religious liberty is just the first casualty of that unchecked power.

Please remember that I’m pretty sparing in my criticisms of Obama and don’t just emote for or against this.

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Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

Sunday thoughts 10/2/11

Michael Hyatt, a/k/a Deacon Michael, is one of the most popular bloggers on the internet, but it’s for his publishing and marketing savvy, not for his Orthodox faith.

He Tweeted yesterday a link to a blog by a counsellor that sounds both true and quite helpful:

“One cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be of little importance in the evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.” Carl Jung

In the first half [of life] we gain our security and identity primarily from our accomplishments. These successes act like a container that holds our life together, making us feel secure in a complicated world filled with external pressures. But in the second half this container becomes less important and we may begin to doubt all that we worked so hard to accomplish. We may even doubt the basics that we always knew to be true. Beliefs about the purpose of life and how God fits may change drastically. Jung believes that this is necessary to live the second half of your life with any sense of real meaning.

Read the whole thing to promote cross-generational understanding.

I’ll try to be more patient with those who are trying to gain “security and identity primarily from … accomplishments.”

You’re coming of age in a world where accomplishments will be harder as fossil fuels disappear, and will look different than the dubious accomplishments of my generation: getting shagged, getting stoned, selling out, getting a couple of big cars, parking them in the multibay garage of the McMansion, and just generally living outwardly noisy lives to mask inner quiet desperation and the vague memory of having once cared, and then of having ceased.

Your real individual accomplishments may be in learning some self-sufficiency skills, like how to grow food in a small space without petrochemicals. Your larger accomplishments may be (re)building livable, walkable, cities, and abolishing the stupid ordinances (and neighborhood covenants) that frustrate gardening and small animal husbandry in the city. If you’re lucky, or really prescient, you’ll find the sweet spot between atomistic individualism and idolatrous statism. You’ll have close friends and neighbors, and you’ll help each other out, first, perhaps, as people help each other out after a natural disaster, then as friends help friends.

I could be quite wrong about the details of how you’ll readjust, but I’m virtually positive that, whether it’s because of peak oil or the information age, success will look different in the future, both in how it’s achieved and in the outward badges of it.

I’ll try to be more patient without any quid pro quo, although I would appreciate it if the “morning” people would be patient with an enigmatic old coot who must sound like an old Jesus Freak hippie sometimes..