Michael Ramirez’ work at Investors Business Daily is always brilliant, but yesterday’s editorial cartoon may be one of his best ever. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner takes on the Church of Government, as my friend John Hinderaker calls it at Power Line, and skewers Barack Obama’s pretensions of being a faith leader while shredding the Constitution — in the cartoon, literally. Do not miss the details of this work, one of Ramirez’ most richly illustrated entries ever. Click on the image if you need a closer look:
Michael Gerson wrote earlier this week that Obama has declared war on religion, and has betrayed those who sought to work with him:
The implications of Obama’s choice will take years to sort through. The immediate impact can be measured on three men:
Consider Catholicism’s most prominent academic leader, the Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame. Jenkins took a serious risk in sponsoring Obama’s 2009 honorary degree and commencement address — which promised a “sensible” approach to the conscience clause. Jenkins now complains, “This is not the kind of ‘sensible’ approach the president had in mind when he spoke here.” Obama has made Jenkins — and other progressive Catholic allies — look easily duped.
Consider Catholicism’s highest-ranking elected official, Vice President Joe Biden. Biden had encouraged engagement with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on conscience rights. Now he will be remembered as the Catholic cover for the violation of Catholic conscience. Betrayal is always an inside job.
Consider Catholicism’s most prominent clerical leader, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dolan had pursued a policy of engagement with the administration. In November 2011, he met face-to-face with Obama, who was earnestly reassuring on conscience protections. On Jan. 20, during a less-cordial phone conversation, Obama informed Dolan that no substantial concession had been made. How can Dolan make the argument for engagement now?
The implications of Obama’s power grab go further than contraception and will provoke opposition beyond Catholicism. Christian colleges and universities of various denominations will resist providing insurance coverage for abortifacients. And the astounding ambition of this federal precedent will soon be apparent to every religious institution. Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer’s ears.
He wants, in short, to be the Pope of America. And that’s a strange arrogance to display in an election year.
Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.