There are many reasons to criticize the the Republicans as the Stupid Party, and I have often done so. But we need to remember that, in Sam Francis' dichotomy, the other major party is the Evil Party. And some of what the leader of the Evil Party is doing has no real precedent in American history.
On January 11, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the Obama Administration, which had argued that the government had the right to sue the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for violating anti-discrimination law in terminating one of its ministers. At oral argument, the Obama Administration lawyer told the justices that it should make no difference for purposes of anti-discrimination law whether an employer is religious or secular. Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex discrimination in employment, the Obama Administration's argument was consistent with a claim that churches that refuse to ordain women violate anti-discrimination law.
And on Friday, January 20, just before Obama issued a statement on the 39th anniversary of Roe
proclaiming that "I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right," his Secretary of Health and Human Services refused to change regulations that will require religious hospitals, schools, and charities that have moral objections to contraception to provide health insurance paying for employees' sterilizations and contraceptives, including contraceptives that act as abortifacients. The Catholic bishops had argued for a regulation exempting religious organizations with moral objections to contraception from paying for such coverage, but the Obama Administration, agreeing with Planned Parenthood, rejected the bishops' argument.
Taken together, these two actions by the Obama Administration show a clear desire to use the power of government to control how religious organizations govern themselves. The Obama Administration was willing to take the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to the Supreme Court, and to pick a fight with the Catholic bishops less than a year before the election, because it is hostile to traditional Christianity. Nothing else explains the Obama Administration's unwillingness to allow Lutherans the right to choose and dismiss their own ministers and Catholics the right not to pay for contraceptives for employees of Catholic institutions, rights that would have been completely uncontroversial just a few years ago, both because most Americans treasure religious freedom and because most Americans are favorably disposed toward Christianity. If Obama is reelected, we can only expect this trend to continue. The Evil Party is certainly living up to its name these days.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.