By DEXTER DUGGAN
Mary and Joseph, tired from their wintry trip, were glad they had their confirmed reservations firmly in hand as they looked at the street signs to find 25 Bethlehem Avenue. Many travelers on the road for the census would be elbowing for room at the inns.
With the worship of so many false gods spreading in the land, it was best to seek shelter at a six-star inn you could trust.
“Look, Joseph, there it is,” said Mary, as the Child stirred in her womb. “But innkeeper Joshua is nailing his doors shut! What could be wrong?”
“See here, we have proof of our reservations,” Joseph told the innkeeper. “Why would you deny hospitality to weary travelers of the House of David?”
“Nothing personal, I assure you,” Joshua apologized. “I’d be happy to receive my guests, one and all! But the new rules by Emperor Obamus have narrowed my network of eligible guests so sharply that I can barely accept anyone at all!
“You’ll recall that Obamus said his new guest hospitality plan that he shoved through the Sanhedrin would ensure that every traveler had a roof over his head. But the Affordable Commuting Act has had just the opposite effect,” Joshua said sadly.
“Unless you’re a Jew who was one of a set of quintuplets born on a blue moon next to the Mediterranean Sea whose father was a ploughman (that’s on page 2,324 of the regulations), or you’re a firstborn Greek of a blonde-haired mother with a tattoo on her nose of the Sphinx eating a stalk of celery (page 3,986), I simply can’t accept you as a guest,” Joshua said.
“And how many such travelers can I find in our world? I’m going bankrupt!
“Of course,” he added, “if you make a campaign contribution of 12 years’ wages to Obamus for every night you stay, he’ll gladly put you up in his own presidential palace down the road. If you also kiss his ring. And his ankles.”
“Twelve years’ wages for every night’s stay?,” Joseph exclaimed. “How can there be any travel industry left standing at all?”
“It’s complete nonsense and drivel to me,” Joshua agreed. “But Obamus insists that all the smartest economists and wisest travel planners who burn incense at the Temple of Obamus Worship assure him this is the best deal ever, and it’s up to us innkeepers to make it work!
“I’ve scratched my head bald trying to figure it out,” Joshua said, “but every morning the columnist E.J. Dionysus in the Bethlehem Post says whatever Obamus wants is the greatest. Dionysus immerses himself in so much of the incense at the temple of Obamus, you can smell him coming from four miles away! He burns so much of the lilac scent, he’s created a drastic shortage in that market! Obamus and his guys are heck on all the markets!
“I’d say this is raw paganism for sure, burning incense to a mere mortal, no matter how many golden robes he wears,” Joshua continued. “But E.J. Dionysus keeps saying Obamus is one of our own religious tribe, just on a much loftier plane of existence.
“And I haven’t even mentioned the innkeeper penalties yet,” Joshua said. “Actually, I’m glad I’m going bankrupt. I never in a million years would cooperate with this. For every guest I receive, I’d have to pay a fee to Obamus to buy more swords for his temple guards, to slay any babies that his pagan pal Herod suspects would become a threat to their grandeur!”
“Monstrous!,” Joseph and Mary exclaimed together. “Surely anyone’s conscience would never allow him to cooperate.”
Joshua’s eyes grew wider. “You mean you haven’t heard in your town? Obamus’ supreme attorneys and his servile judges say business people are not allowed to have a conscience in these business dealings!
“If I don’t pay the fee, I’ll be fined 10,000 oxen for every day I resist! Or else they’ll smash down my inn! Where do I get a herd that size?,” Joshua asked. “Where do I get an impregnable inn? I’m a small business. Lucky to have five goats out back.
“It’s insanity, pure craziness,” he said. “Every day I look in the Bethlehem Post for any stories objecting to Obamus ordering the moral collapse of our nation, but I only see more photos of E.J. Dionysus and his brother, the oracle named the Chris of Matthews, putting more golden robes on Obamus’ shoulders and crowns on his head! Who could ever be born to save us from these outrages?”
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More than two thousand years later, we recall who was born to bring regeneration to a morally sick world. However, He said, the struggle continues in every soul in every age.
In the reality of this early 21st century, we see evils once more arise that were recognized both in the age of chariots and the age of zeppelins.
The Barack Obama administration, determined to force everyone to submit to its overwhelming immoralities, says that business people cannot exercise their conscience in funding its government-required medical plans for employees. They must provide abortifacients as well as sterilizations and contraceptives.
Those regarded as modern liberals frequently have decried business people for lacking conscience and being concerned only with profit. Yet when some avowedly Christian employers say they can’t ethically fund abortifacients, Obama’s liberals say the businesses must do so or they’ll quickly be fined into oblivion.
In a December 9 telephone interview, attorney Matt Bowman told The Wanderer, “If religious freedom and other basic freedoms are no more than what the government declares…the freedoms it wants to suppress never really existed.”
Bowman is senior legal counsel at the Washington, D.C., office of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a national Christian legal-activist organization for traditional constitutional values, based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
In late November the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals, probably in March, by Conestoga Wood Specialties, represented by ADF, and Hobby Lobby Stores, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The court could issue its opinion next June.
Both of these Protestant-owned companies, who make religious values an integral part of their business approach, say they can’t obey Obamacare requirements to provide abortifacients.
“Religious freedom has always belonged to all Americans, not just what you happen to do in your house of worship,” but outside those walls as well, Bowman said.
This Obamacare mandate has nothing to do with whether certain items are legal, or even if they’ll be funded by the government, Bowman said. Instead, the issue is whether some citizens “have a so-called right to force other citizens to buy their sexual-enabling drugs and devices. . . . That is the definition of coercion.”
This “[d]erives from, I think, what Pope Emeritus Benedict called the dictatorship of relativism,” Bowman said. Advocates of abortion and of changing the definition of marriage first say people should tolerate these developments, then say people must accept them, with no dissent allowed.
David Green, founder and CEO of highly successful Hobby Lobby, points out that Obama’s government has granted numerous waivers as it pleased from Obamacare mandates, but is intransigent against giving Christian businesses dispensation.
On December 9, National Review Online contributor David French wrote that liberal journalists may try to frame the abortion-pill case in court as one of “competing rights” or “competing liberties,” but there’s no equivalence whatever.
“Simply put,” French wrote, “there are no true ‘competing rights’ in this case. There is the right to religious freedom against a naked exercise of government power.”
On one hand, “Religious employers are asserting rights of conscience and free exercise of religion grounded in the First Amendment, arguably the single-most important constitutional provision protecting individual liberty from state power.”
Opposing this centuries-old foundational principle, French continued, there’s “an executive branch regulation (not even a statute) establishing a ‘right’ that has never before existed in the history of the Republic,” for “free” coverage.
In a November 26 news release about Conestoga Wood Specialties, ADF said, “A government that forces any citizen to participate in immoral acts — like the use of abortion drugs — under threat of crippling fines is a government everyone should fear.”
Bowman told The Wanderer: “I agree that the Obamacare fines are heavily punitive when they force people to provide life-ending drugs and devices in their health-insurance plans. These penalties are not rational.”
He said both Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are led by Christians who “only object to certain items that they believe can prevent implantations” in the womb of new human lives.
Although media coverage has said the firms object to contraceptives, their objection is to abortifacients.
“The media in many ways have . . . tried to propagandize in favor of contraception and to hide from people” the issue of what “can destroy a new human life,” Bowman said.
If the Supreme Court adopts the Obama administration’s view, the court “would declare religious freedom doesn’t exist” in people’s daily lives, Bowman said, adding that there’d be “no obstacle” to “massive and expanding federal government.”
Various challenges to Obamacare exist on other fronts, too, including a lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, based in Sacramento, saying that Obamacare improperly was written in the U.S. Senate after senators stripped out the language of a totally unrelated House bill and plugged in Obamacare. The Constitution says revenue-raising bills must originate in the House.
The Happiest Christmas
Finally, for those who wonder what became of evil Emperor Obamus of long ago:
Obamus arched his eyebrows even higher when guards one day came to take him to prison for impersonating royalty.
“You cannot arrest the gods,” he proclaimed.
The guards replied, “The gods, we can’t. You, we can.” He, they did. Repented, he did.
It was the happiest of Christmases.