The international community is sharply divided over the question of Syria. The issue isn’t solely whether the United States should strike Syria as punishment for a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians, including children, but the ultimate source of that attack. President Obama argues that the Assad regime—that is, the Syrian government—was behind the attack. To the contrary, the Russians, led by Vladimir Putin, insist the Assad regime wasn’t behind the attack. The Russians claim that radical Islamists were behind the attack in an attempt to frame Assad—which, for the record, is a completely plausible scenario.
So, who do we believe? President Obama or President Putin?
That’s a choice that I, as a Catholic, don’t relish.
Certainly, I have no faith in Vladimir Putin, a corrupt ex-KGB official who, among other things, has left a trail of dead dissident journalists along his path to absolute power.
At the same time, I’m sorry to say, as a Catholic American, that I can’t place my faith in Barack Obama either. Here’s a president—the first and only in the history of this nation—who insists on forcing me, as a Catholic, to fund things completely against my conscience and the long, historic teachings of my Church, from abortion drugs to Planned Parenthood. All along, he assures me and my Church that he will not force us to pay for these things, that our historic religious liberty is the same it has always been, when it clearly isn’t.
No other president ever, Republican or Democrat, has demanded these things or governed in this way. And as he does, President Obama insists he’s a champion of religious freedom. Indeed, he frames his Syria policy as an extension of his belief in religious freedom.
Sorry, I can’t buy it—just as I likewise learned I couldn’t trust Obama’s onetime insistence on marriage as a sacred bond between one man and one woman.
Now, he asks me to believe what his says about Syria. Sorry, Mr. President, but I’ve learned that I can’t accept your word.
For Catholic Exchange dot com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.
Image credit: shutterstock.com