Friday, February 10, 2012

President Obama Demands All Bow To His New Religion

The Founders of our beloved Republic were by and large religious men who acknowledged the role of divine providence in the miracle of their achieving independence in a free land of their own.

But they were also men who had come from a place racked with war and religious bigotry because of the institution of state religions, so they wisely included as one of our primary freedoms the edict that Congress would make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

The establishment and free exercise clauses, as they're known, were not intended to 'make a wall between church and state' as Thomas Jefferson's famous letter is frequently misinterpreted, but to keep America's governing classes from making laws elevating one religion over another and making it the official state religion, as the Church of England was.

President Obama's new Health and Human Services diktat requiring Catholic institutions to purchase healthcare for their employees that includes birth control, sterilization and abortion drugs and operations is a huge and egregious violation and dilution of these First Amendment rights. It is little different from requiring Muslim establishments to buy from companies producing pork products and alcohol.

It degrades freedom of practice to freedom to worship, and they are two very different things.

And once again, we see this president bypassing Congress and flouting the Constitution using the mechanisms of the executive order, the regulatory shibboleth and the appointed cabinet officer and czar.

When President Obama first came out with this policy,he expected it would simply be implemented without any fuss, which gives you a clue as to the personality of the man we allowed into the White House.

Another clue to who this president is and how he really views America and its people is that, after seeing the outcry from people of all faiths, he expected them to accept an 'accommodation' giving them the appearance of granting them back some of the rights they already own outright by lying to them that it will be the insurance companies who will be required to provide these products and services 'for free'.

President Obama continues to think that everyone is stupid except him. Catholic institutions will still be mandated to pay insurance premiums under ObamaCare no matter what. If insurance companies are forced to provide birth control, sterilization and abortions as a part of these policies it won't be 'for free' but will simply be rolled into the overall cost of the premiums - which these Catholic institutions will be paying anyway.

What the president is doing is demanding that both insurers and insured play a game of Let's Pretend that the cost of the policies is really higher than it is - because it includes these 'free' items. President Obama simply demands that people on both ends of this legally mandated transaction simply lie about it.

I admit to getting a small amount of malicious amusement out of this, because a lot of the Catholic hierarchy and many Catholics in America largely supported ObamaCare after getting assurances from this President that of course, he wouldn't expect them to have to fund things like abortions. They should have known that a president whose position on abortion has consistently been even more radical the NARAL's would lie to them with a smile. You have to wonder what former congressman Bart Stupak, a Catholic who provided the final votes on ObamaCare thinks of his decision now. He delivered the bloc of anti-abortion Democrats in exchange for a worthless executive order from Obama promising that no federal funds from ObamaCare would go to pay for funding abortions. Just as I wrote back then, the 'Executive order' might as well have been written in disappearing ink.

President Obama's cynical and deceitful 'accommodation' has just one purpose. It is yet another lie designed to give divide Catholics and to give permission to those Catholics who wanted to vote for President Obama anyway a little cover.

Thankfully, most of America's Catholic Bishops seem to understand what an assault this is on their faith and have rejected President Obama's cynical ploy.

It's up to their co-religionists and the Church to remind Catholics who once again take this president at his word of Bart Stupak and all the other untruths used to bring us to this point. If President Obama is re-elected, he will cheerfully trash this accommodation just as he's trashed the others.

The Democrats are composed of various self interest groups, many with interests and issues that are opposed to each other. But the one group no Democrat has ever gone against and survived for very long is the abortion lobby.

The simple reason for that is because abortion on demand is a sacrament for the Left and thus not just a part of President Obama's ideology. It's a vital part of a new secular religious doctrine, a state church, and thus establishment of religion as well as a trashing of free practice not just for Catholics but for all faiths, who will be subordinate to the new Leftist pantheism just as they always have been under all statist regimes. Make no mistake.. that is exactly what President Obama is putting in place, and neutering the First Amendment is an important and necessary step in that process.

This goes far beyond the question of abortion or birth control or the Catholic Church. It sets a precedent for gutting the entire First Amendment if it's successful.

It's the horrendous tip of a hidden iceberg designed to sink our freedoms.


Anonymous said...

Rob- respectfully disagree with you on many counts. The founding fathers yes, did not create a state religion and did not stop the practice of religion. However, it is decided Constitutional law that the secular law of the land is supreme, not religious law. It is why Native Americans can be arrested outside reservations for smoking peyote, and Jewish couples in NY once granted a divorce in civil court are required under penalty of law for the husband to give his wife a "get." It is also why last year when there was the ill wind of the anti-circumcision law in San Fancisco that Jews and Moslems fought to stop it. Secular law trumps religion in this nation.If it did not then there would have been nothing for us to be concerned with.

While you decry how Jefferson's wall of separation has been implemented,how it has been interpreted and employed is the law of the land. I also beg to differ with you on the religiosity of the founders. While many were very God fearing men, Jefferson and his group were deists, believing in a supreme being but not beholden to the dictates of any particular church doctrine. How could they be. In order to create the USA, they had to overthrow church doctrine that stated that the King is empowered by God Almighty. If they were truly believing Christians of the time, there would have been no revolution. Honestly, the founding fathers were more influenced by the enlightenment philosophers than by the dictates of a church.

Furthermore, if you take religious accommodation or the concept that religion trumps secular law to its extreme,( you may say reductio ad absurtem) then why not allow honor murders, and gender apartheid which is prescribed in Islam? Is not Islam just as important as Christianity? The truth is that there is a difference between accommodation in law and law itself.

The fact is that we are a secular albeit a believing nation. Our laws come not from the dictates of any particular religion but are the end result of a history of law which begins with Hammurabi, Moses,Socrates, Justinian, Luther, Enlightenment philosophers and the legal eagles we so love to hate in this nation.

The truth is that your issue lies mostly with Obamacare.As of right now Obamacare is the law of the land and what the President did is within that law. What happens after SCOTUS rules this summer is anyone's guess.But I bet while they strike down some provision,particularly the individual mandate, most of Obamacare will remain.Look to how the Court applied the civil rights statutes to the sates. Same underlying states rights issue and same Constitutional clauses in play.

Rob said...

Hello IP and shavua tov.

I believe you're missing the point here. What the SCOTUS has actually ruled on in the past is that when there is a conflict between the free practice of religion and secular law, secular law trumps it - usually but not always when public safety is involved. A good example are the laws against honor killings you mention (BTW, more a mtter of culture than actual religious practice although there is a basis in the Qu'ran and Sunnah) and polygamy,which formerly affected Mormons and now affect Muslims. BTW,as a sidebar let me say that if same sex marriage goes to the SCOTUS and gets upheld, I will bet my dollar to your dime that a similar case on polygamy is referred to the SCOTUS with in 3-5 years of the ruling and is likewise upheld.

None of the examples you mention come under that heading of conflicting...and the circumcision law in particular would have died an early death in the courts, which is why SF and Santa Monica took it off the ballot so they wouldn't be stuck trying to defend it.

What we in fact have here is the Federal Government mandating not only that a citizen must purchase a product from a private company, which is without precedent but a government bureaucracy now mandating that a company must provide part of the product 'for free', also without precedent.

This changes the free practice clause into mere freedom of worship,which is very different. It literally is the same thing as demanding that a Muslim madrassah or a Jewish yeshiva make a contract with a private company to purchase pork products for their employees, and then later walking it back to say the pork will be 'free' - when in fact it's just going to be rolled into the overall price of the contract.This is a Constitutional issue, not a religious one, and a clear violation of the First Amendment.

On the US as a secular nation, again this is a side issue, but I would respond by saying that what we have is a religious nation with a secular government,meaning that it is a government pledged to treating all religions equally. There is nothing in the Bible or the New Testament that spells out any 'divine right of kings'. This was a product of Medieval times and designed to facilitate the centralization of rulership in feudal times by allowing the Church to 'sanctify it' in exchange for its prerogatives.

I'm afraid I disagree with you that ObamaCare will stand without the individual mandate. The forcing of people to buy health insurance, the extreme and unconstitutional power vested in the HHS Secretary to make rulings like this one at his or her whim and the enforcement of these provisions is the heart of this illegal legislation.It cannot stand without it.

The civil rights legislation you mention, on the other hand ( with the possible exception of some elements of Title I through V)has a solid constitutional basis.

Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

Shavua Tov-

Sorry but don't truly view my points as "sidelines." But an extrapolation of the underlying issue. The question is accommodation versus law and what is the difference? There is only a difference when the law says that one thing is an accommodation and one is the "rule of law." So it is generally up to secular society to define these two ideas.

I think honestly on much of this you are splitting hairs. You know as well as I that Moslems consider honor killings,fgm, child marriage etc as part of their religion. Just look at the videos on MEMRI to see that most Moslem authorities not only accept these concepts but promote it as Islamic. The issue becomes where to draw the line for religious accommodations and religious intrusion into society.I think you are truly missing the point as to how Islam sees society (well maybe not) but you can rest assured that it is going to be a constitutional case in the future.

As far as gay marriage, when you have someone as conservative as Ted Olsen of the Federalist Society defending gay marriage under equal protection then there is the realistic view that it will be held constitutional. There is a great video on You Tube where he discusses the law on the issue and as brilliant as we both happen to be, I think he outsmarts us both when it comes to constitutional law and its application.As far as polygamy, not the same thing, but I am sure that there will be a case, just as there will be a case trying to make pedophilia legal as well,but there are other overriding constitutional issues when it comes to that, immigration, national security, national health and safety etc.

As far as Obamacare..yes the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but laws allow for every agency to write and make regulations this is nothing new. We do have the administrative procedure act that goes with that. The amount of power in HHS as unprecedented? We will have to see what SCOTUS does with that. However, the idea that it will be upheld as the civil rights statutes were upheld is still relevant. Look at the Heart of Atlanta Hotel and see how they used the commerce clause. As well Ginsburg wrote a brilliant article when she was a law professor about how the commerce clause should have been used to uphold the right to abortion rather than the right of privacy. It will illustrate how some of the judges will look at the case. As usual it will be left to one man and one man alone what happens with Obamacare.

I also disagree with your point that the contraceptive mandate is about the free exercise of religion as opposed to religious oppression.There are laws that govern everyone who is a public entity, receives federal funds and falls under State Action. No organization is exempt. Point in fact..the Boy Scouts, because they are a private organization they can discriminate against "gay" scout masters without recourse. The opinion in that case is truly instrumental in thinking about this recent hullaballoo.

Anyway as I have said before, we tend to agree to disagree about quite alot of social and legal issues. C'est la vie.


Rob said...

Hello IP,
Actually, when I used the term 'side bar' I was referring to my point about same sex marriage, not anything you said. And BTW, in countries in Europe where gay marriage has long been legal exactly these issues have come up. Which is why polygamy, especially among Muslims is now legal and recognized in much of Europe. As a matter of fact, in Norway and Denmark they have been struggling to eliminate, believe it or not,bestiality in the form of animal bordellos. They have been unsuccessful thus far because of existing legal challenges citing - you guessed it, same sex marriage.

I'm going to send you a link that may prove informative.

As far as Muslim religious practice goes, I never said that the practices you mention aren't part of Muslim society. What I said was that practices like fgm, honor killings, etc. are more a matter of culture, although there is some basis for them in the Qu'ran and the Sunnah.The truth of this can be seen in the difference in the amount of honor killings in say, Pakistan or Jordan as opposed to Muslims in Indonesia or Malaysia. Same with FGM, where in countries like Somalia or Egypt over 80% of the women endure this while it is unknown in countries like Iran or Indonesia.

I would also mention that the incidence of these things has increased thanks to the billions the Saudis have spent since the 1980's proselytizing wahhabism.

I have to disagree with your comparing ObamaCare to the civil rights issue. The civil rights issues have a clear constitutional backing in the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment. Insuring equality in housing, schooling and employment is far different from requiring people to make a contract with a private company to purchase a product under pain of penalty. It is also different from forcing people to buy something that violates their religious beliefs, a clear violation of the free exercise clause. One merely conforms and ensures rights people already have - the other creates brand new 'rights' - and infringes on a number of others we already have.

It's important to keep in mind that ObamaCare is not a healthcare bill, but a tax bill and a way for the government to get control of one sixth of the US economy. If it were really about healthcare for the uninsured, that could have been handled easily by leaving the present system in place but requiring companies to cover people unable to get insurance in an 'assigned risk' category, similar to what's done in auto insurance. And if it were about lowering costs,the two magic words President Obama would never ever utter would be required : tort reform. That, and a provision to allow people to shop out of state for competitive insurance rates would have done the trick.

I note that we actually agree on a lot more things than we disagree on, my friend.

Take care, OK?

Anonymous said...

Not to worry my friend. I do think we agree on more than we disagree for certain. But disagreement in a democracy and how we view certain aspects is what a free society is all about :)

Also remember the 14tth amendment had to be adjudicated in a Supreme Court case to become applicable to the states. It was not automatic.

I would say that we definitely want the most basic fundamently important thing in this whole disccusion...a strong, free and democratic nation to hand to our children when the time comes, just as we were given such a coutnry.