Reading J.S. Conway's "The Nazi Persecution of the Churches 1933 - 1945," this observation strikes me with particular force:
Joey Fishkin has argued that Hobby Lobby is ultimately about “the politics of recognition,” and specifically about recognizing various conservative religious claims. Fishkin neglects the extent to which the Obama administration’s decision to fight Hobby Lobby over contraception mandate, and its initial decision to impose it on religious non-profits, is about recognizing certain claims made by liberal secularists, as Sanchez makes clear:
The outrage does make sense, of course, if what one fundamentally cares about—or at least, additionally cares about—is the symbolic speech act embedded in the compulsion itself. In other words, if the purpose of the mandate is not merely to achieve a certain practical result, but to declare the qualms of believers with religious objections so utterly underserving of respect that they may be forced to act against their convictions regardless of whether this makes any real difference to the outcome. And something like that does indeed seem to be lurking just beneath—if not at—the surface of many reactions.
It is the rising political assertion of the “nones,” or the religiously unaffiliated, that I find most interesting. America is developing a homegrown anticlerical politics, despite the fact that we’ve never had an established church. While chasing the mirage of theocracy, social liberals are increasingly embracing a weaponized secularism. This has led to sharp conflicts between right and left, and traditionalists seem to be finding themselves on the losing side of these debates as often as not. Going forward, though, I wonder if weaponized secularism will prove more divisive within the Democratic Party, which must appeal to the emphatically secular and the emphatically religious alike.
Unlike Germany, Britain or France, America has not had an anti-clerical tradition - with all of its noxious hatred - because America has never had a state church.
What we are seeing, however, is the attempt to create - forcibly graft - that tradition into American culture, and it began when George Stephanopoulis lobbed the first question the first Republican debate of 2012 about whether Mitt Romney would make contraception illegal. Here's a post from the debate:
During Saturday's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, hosted by ABC, co-moderator George Stephanopoulos bizarrely repeatedly pressed candidate Mitt Romney on whether the former Massachusetts governor believes the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn a 1965 ruling that a constitutional right to privacy bars states from banning contraception.
Romney, befuddled by the off the wall nature of the question on such an issue that is not on any state's legislative agenda, eventually observed that it was a "silly thing" for the ABC co-moderator to ask such an irrelevant question. Stephanopoulos's odd persistence which dragged on the discussion with Romney for more than three and a half minutes inspired a number of boos from the audience before Ron Paul and Rick Santorum were then allowed to weigh in.
So, at the time, everybody else, was going "WTF? Isn't this an issue that died in 1965?"
Two years later, we have a Supreme Court decision on whether private individuals can be forced to subsidize someone else's birth control, i.e., the exact opposite of what Stephanopoulis was implying in his dishonest question that was obviously scripted to "roll-out" propaganda that Joseph Goebbels would have envied.
We simply had no idea how much damage the Obama Left was willing to do to national unity in order to have its "War on Women" and "Emmanuel Goldstein" moment.