George Will’s atheism got the best of him—not for the first time—when he recently unloaded on presidential hopeful Gov. Mike Huckabee. Among the several things that bother Will about Huckabee was his remark, “We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity.”
One does not have to be a Southern Baptist minister to understand that Huckabee’s fears are not unfounded. Here is what the late Cardinal Francis George said a few years ago: “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”
We document anti-Catholicism, and the evidence supports the concerns of both men. Here’s a quick look at the situation; it has worsened dramatically in recent years.
At the federal level, the Obama administration is trying to force Catholic non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. It barred some priests from saying Mass during the partial-government shutdown. It refuses to grant the same religious exemptions in matters of employment and social services that every previous administration has respected. It abuses its regulatory powers to police personnel decisions at Catholic institutions. It punishes the most elementary “Christian” speech on military installations, particularly on U.S. Air Force bases.
At the state and local level, lawmakers in San Francisco and Sacramento are seeking to force the Archdiocese of San Francisco to change Church teachings on sexuality. In California, Catholic colleges must pay for “elective abortion” in their health plans. Two lawmakers in Connecticut sought to take over the administrative affairs of the Church. There was an attempt to wrest control from the bishops in Minnesota. There have been many campaigns forcing Catholic adoption agencies to approve gay parents, effectively shutting them down when they object. Caterers, photographers, and others who have a religious objection to gay marriage are being sued, and some are forced to close because of threats.
Will has it wrong. Huckabee is not an alarmist.