What freedoms will be left?

Birth control issue will be powerful test of Americans' rights

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This may be the year our First Amendment sees its most serious threat.

The Affordable Care Act now requires big employers to provide birth control as part of health insurance coverage, irrespective of the employers’ religious beliefs on the matter.

Many have religious beliefs that consider either contraception or the morning-after pill morally wrong and abhorrent to the conscience. The government is nonetheless ordering them to arrange for it and, in many cases, even subsidize it.

Hobby Lobby has famously challenged the mandate in an ongoing lawsuit. But it wasn’t until New Year’s Eve that the U.S. Supreme Court took action to temporarily block that portion of the law.

Remarkably it was liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor who issued the stay – though, notably, only until Friday, when the Obama administration was ordered to make its case for the mandate.

She appears to have had little choice but to issue the emergency order. And, indeed, given an opportunity to protect Hobby Lobby with a similar reprieve in December 2012, Sotomayor passed on it.

A vital tenet of religious freedom is at stake. Can the government force Americans to participate in activities that are of the highest moral repugnance to them and their religious views?

And if it can, what freedom is truly left?

The current case, involving the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged in Denver, provides a stark background for the question. How can nuns be ordered to provide birth control in a free country?

But truly, the impact of this debate is sweeping. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by the intrepid, and many more thousands of Americans not directly involved in the legal cases will have their rights either affirmed or trimmed.

The politics of the mandate are quite interesting, too – that is to say, hypocritical. Those of the same political ideology that once bitterly protected conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War would now deny the same right to conservatives who object to tampering with (and ending) embryonic life.

It also puts the religious between a rock and a hard place: Which one are they to obey, man’s law or God’s?

Those folks are normally assiduously law-abiding. But unless the court steps in to protect their fundamental religious rights on a more permanent basis, they may be tempted to resort to “nullification” – the act of singularly nullifying laws they find unlivable.

How many people, for instance, will ignore the requirement to buy insurance?

If so, they’ll have company in high places. As we noted in an editorial nearly a year ago, the Democratic-led U.S. Senate ignored its duty to pass a budget for the entire first Obama term, and the Obama administration has unilaterally and openly ignored provisions of immigration law, the Defense of Marriage Act, drug laws and more – and even encouraged defense contractors to ignore laws requiring layoff notices in advance of “sequestration” cuts.

“Nullification has rarely seen this much favor since the Civil War,” we wrote last January, “and may only gain steam if Washington continues down the path of trying to run everyone’s lives.”

Unless the courts step in, that may only be truer this year than last.

Comments (131) Add comment
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paulbaughman28
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paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 10:32 am
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ICL,

That's the thing with voting. More of the younger generation are, in fact, voting. For him to deny what the majority of voters have voted for would actually be the literal breach of the Constitution...and of the Democratic Process. I'm not saying I agree with everything, just that his position isn't as black and white as we all wish it to be.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 10:37 am
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Paul...tell us in what
Unpublished

Paul...tell us in what context would it NOT make the President an enemy of the American people if he wants those who are of a different party than he to be punished.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 10:37 am
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" Furthermore, if you want to
Unpublished

" Furthermore, if you want to find the culprits that are doing the most damage to America, aside from We the People, you are looking in the right city....just the wrong building...Just my opinion."

Please elaborate.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 10:39 am
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" For him to deny what the
Unpublished

" For him to deny what the majority of voters have voted for would actually be the literal breach of the Constitution..."

They voted for him to be PRESIDENT; they did NOT vote for the ACA. As a matter of fact...most polls show they are against it....to deny THAT would be another breach of the Constitution.

BTW....you keep implying things that aren't really in the Constitution.

paulbaughman28
215
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paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 10:39 am
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Voted out of Senate/House

Voted out of Senate/House positions. Also, I may have missed it, could you please cite your source where he said Republicans should be punished? Did he actually use those words?

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 10:42 am
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Unpublished

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CJqD7F2pwA

One would have to be quite obtuse to not know who he was talking about here.

paulbaughman28
215
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paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 10:47 am
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Further elaboration... just

Further elaboration... just for you Angela.... I feel the majority of problems in American government today stems from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Congress has not done their job in YEARS. If you you did not do your job and put your company in a situation where they would have defaulted on loans, you would be fired. Why have we not cleaned house in Congress. We the People are allowing lackluster (putting it mildly) performance in what is arguably the most powerful and largest part of the federal government...why?

Also, I remember ACA being one of the things he promised while running for POTUS, as well as a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the closing of Camp Delta.

Bizkit
33064
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Bizkit 01/06/14 - 10:50 am
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Seems the best compromise

Seems the best compromise would be let employers opt out for religious reasons but non-christian employees should all be given a cash account for health care they could use the funds to pay for birth control, an abortion, or whatever health need. That way a business doesn't compromise it's faith beliefs and a non-christian would enjoy their freedom too. It's a win-win. Dems like the idea of winners and losers and divide. Watch the new attack on the wealthy with wealth redistribution this next year-rather than bring everyone up they prefer to steal from those who have succeeded (and demonize them for their success) and give to those who haven't. The rhetoric will whip up the masses of poor people and I fear it may go awry with violence towards those who have succeeded as they make this population an enemy who have succeeded by criminal or immoral means (which just isn't true on the whole). Obama loves the divide for political purposes.

carcraft
27122
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carcraft 01/06/14 - 12:35 pm
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I feel he is an enemy of

I feel he is an enemy of America because he wants to "fundamentally transform America " his words. Now the press never ask Obama what he meant by that. I would like to know! The press was to busy figuring out if Palin was paying to much or not enough to get her hair done. Obama has continually lied to the American people. The agencies of the American government have been used to target American political groups in violation of the constitution under Obama's watch and he has done NOTHING to stop it. Of course I am refering to the IRS targeting TEA Party and strict Constitutional constructionist groups. Now the IRS has admitted doing this! Reporters phones have been illegally taped. Obama has ordered the death of American Citizens with out due process. Obama has failed to dutifully execute the laws of the land violating his oath. In short he is a rogue president!

paulbaughman28
215
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paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 10:52 am
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Angela,

That could be construed either way. Also, what am I implying that isn't in the Constitution?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 10:56 am
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Paul.....most will agree that
Unpublished

Paul.....most will agree that Congress has had lackluster performance, but It is the PRESIDENT who has repeatedly violated the Constitution.

"Also, I remember ACA being one of the things he promised while running for POTUS, as well as a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the closing of Camp Delta."

Well....one down, 3 to go....unfortunately, it's the one that polls show a majority of people don't want.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 10:57 am
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Well...for starters you are
Unpublished

Well...for starters you are implying that the President has to do what the majority of the voters want him to do

" For him to deny what the majority of voters have voted for would actually be the literal breach of the Constitution..."

.....Don't see that in the Constitution. I doubt you will either, since we live in a representative republic.

Bizkit
33064
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Bizkit 01/06/14 - 11:08 am
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He took an oath to "I will

He took an oath to "I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” He has broken his oath by not executing and then actually unilaterally changing the ACA. He has stated numerous times he wants to "change" the constitution-not preserve it.

dahreese
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dahreese 01/06/14 - 11:39 am
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@Corgimon
Unpublished

Your post @ 01/05/14 - 11:07 pm

Thank you.

harley_52
23959
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harley_52 01/06/14 - 12:15 pm
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@paulbaughman28

I've read your posts this morning and must say I disagree with most everything you've said, though I'll have to compliment you on your manner in saying it.

I'll also compliment you on your avatar. You've chosen the colors of one of the Army's finest units. It brings back lots of memories.

Bizkit
33064
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Bizkit 01/06/14 - 01:24 pm
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Actually there is nothing in

Actually there is nothing in the constitution that separates Church and State-that reinterpretation was founded on a letter by Jefferson.
The Bill of Rights was one of the earliest examples in the world of complete religious freedom (adopted in 1791, only preceded by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789) but it was interpreted as establishing a separation of Church and State only after the letter of Jefferson (see section United States for more details). At the time of the passage of the Bill of Rights, many states acted in ways that would now be held unconstitutional, some of them with official state churches. All of the early official state churches were disestablished by 1833.
The phrase of Jefferson (see above) was quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878, and then in a series of cases starting in 1947.[55] The phrase "separation of church and state" itself does not appear in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The Supreme Court did not consider the question of how this applied to the states until 1947; when they did, in Everson v. Board of Education, the court incorporated the establishment clause, determining that it applied to the states and that a law enabling reimbursement for busing to all schools (including parochial schools) was constitutional.[56]

CoastalDawg
125
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CoastalDawg 01/06/14 - 01:56 pm
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Freedoms in peril

We've reached a milestone that only those in power want to happen. When we learn that a secret court can make decisions against our citizens, we're in trouble; when a government can pass legislation decried by the masses PRIOR to its passage and not even having been read by the congress we're in trouble; when a millionaire president can spend millions of tax dollars on vacations while his congress can't or won 't pass a budget, then DOES pass one cutting monies from veterans who have served us well we're in trouble. The list goes on and on; health insurance was not one of the rights granted in the constitution to the FEDERAL government. That constitution was designed to protect the public from such a government as we now see lording over the people. Who in a nunery needs insurance to cover pregnancies or the attending problems and why would contraceptive devices be forced on them? Our country WAS founded on Judaeo-Christian principles and worked for over 200 years until liberal progressives decided to turn us upside down. People for various groups are demanding special interest laws and getting them. The courts have lost all thoughts of common sense or of ruling on the basis of law but now it is done on the basis of a given judge. The president has given exemptions from Obamacare to certain groups although he has no authority to do so, yet congress acts helpless and the courts are worthless in stemming that tide. God help us - we have the answer in calling on Him but somehow He gets lost in the shuffle.

harley_52
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harley_52 01/06/14 - 02:20 pm
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The U.S. Constitution Guarantees...

...freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

Look it up. Try hard to understand what it says....

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/06/14 - 03:30 pm
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Lotta comments already and

Lotta comments already and I'm just tossing in a thought about it. If the ultimatum is that insurance companies shouldn't be forced to cover this treatment or that procedure, then aren't we talking about infringement on free market capitalism? How does this directly affect the 1st Amendment? It's medical and health related so the point about a nun providing a rubber or something to a person and being horrified b/c it is morally repugnant, isn't applicable. HIPPA will take care of everyone's secrets just like it has for years. Nobody will know what they are "providing" to their employee and essentially, isn't it more profound to leave the freedom up to the individual (employee) as to whether they want to engage in this type of treatment vs that type of treatment?

I'm totally onboard with there being too much BIG government, I just don't see this as a situation that threatens an individual's 1st amendment.

carcraft
27122
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carcraft 01/06/14 - 03:35 pm
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Just looked at Drudge Report.

Just looked at Drudge Report. In November Obama warned about excessive high temperatures causing health problems. Well thank God we have warming, could you imagine what this winter would be like with out all this warming? Why snow might be rare in England!

robert2410
1628
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robert2410 01/06/14 - 03:35 pm
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To understand why they act as
Unpublished

To understand why they act as they do we need to understand them. Liberalism is a symptom of those who have abandoned sound reason, traditional wisdom, and the acknowledgement of God in their hearts. As a result they plunge deeper into foolishness and moral darkness, having chosen to abandon all reason and truth. It is pure evil though it parades about as fairness and kindness to others. It is neither. That is why liberals will believe the most contradictory and strange beliefs. If allowed, they will completely destroy the Western world.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 01/06/14 - 03:36 pm
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"Religious groups have always

"Religious groups have always had to follow American laws."

Yes, and so have many other groups, including secularists, atheists and gay's; that is until they don't like it and work hard at getting it overturned!!

It APPEARS that you guys only like American law when it agrees with you!! Otherwise, to hades with it, right?

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 03:50 pm
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" HIPPA will take care of
Unpublished

" HIPPA will take care of everyone's secrets just like it has for years."

I don't follow your logic....What you are saying is that your faith shouldn't be affected as long as you are kept in the dark about it?

Also...how is NOT FORCING an insurance company to do something considered and infringment on free market capitalism? You really need to explain that, Mr. Parker.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 01/06/14 - 03:55 pm
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1
David Parker

"I'm totally onboard with there being too much BIG government, I just don't see this as a situation that threatens an individual's 1st amendment."

I agree with you and if you look at my earlier comments, I'm a Christian who isn't opposed to birth control.

Having said that; is the only time I'm going to stand up, is when they want to do something I disagree with? I couldn't care less if every business in America gives their employees birth control. BUT, we are talking about the government requiring people to provide BIRTH CONTROL, not cancer treatment or blood transfusions. This is NOT life threatening and if someone doesn't believe in it, I disagree with forcing them to do it anyway.

There is also a recent debate about a law coming out that bans people from smoking in their vehicles, with children in them. I agrued this with some of my own family. Yes, I agree that children need protection, because they can't protect themselves. But if THIS is ok with you, then eventually the government can come in and tell you what to FEED your children. Because there are more health issues with overweight children, than children breathing second hand smoke.

What happens if the government wants to come to your house and inspect the food you serve your children? What happens if they tell you, you can't have fatty, unhealthy food in the house, if you have children? Chicken Nuggets from McDonalds??? Oh heck no!! That would be a felony!!! My wife and daughters would be convicted felons, over and over. Chicken nuggets are their favorite meal; I can't pass by McDonalds without them wanting to stop.

There are human beings who would tell me I'm cruel to my children, for feeding them such nasty, unhealty foods!! Don't believe me, asked Michelle Obama or Mayor Bloomberg!! They would probably put me in prison if they knew the unhealthy snacks I have in my house.

Should people smoke in their vehicles with children in them? Absolutely NOT!!! But people should do this WILLFULLY!! The government should not come into our homes and vehicles, telling us what to do for our health!! If they can do this, they can and WILL do much more!! Where is the end? Where is the limit? The government is trying to legislate people into being decent, honorable, responsible citizens. As long as you have FREE WILL in this world, they will NEVER be able to accomplish this!! We are just going to allow them to chip away at our rights, a little at a time and accomplish NOTHING!!

robert2410
1628
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robert2410 01/06/14 - 03:58 pm
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All this is a result of less
Unpublished

All this is a result of less than rational people voting Obama into Washington when he really should have been put in jail when he was still in Chicago.

robert2410
1628
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robert2410 01/06/14 - 04:12 pm
0
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More on what we
Unpublished

More on what we face:

Liberals are perfectly willing to destroy you financially, remove your children, and imprison you for what you believe. They are not open-minded and tolerant. They are viciously intolerant of any divergence from the dogma of left-wing ideology. They are perfectly willing to subject you to a Liberal version of an Inquisition and the penalties of this "modern" Inquisition are no less severe than the penalties doled out by the original inquisitors. These modern Inquisitors will use the full powers of the government, the police state powers, without hesitation, in order to enforce the decrees of their priestly class, the justices in black robes. Who are the justice's in black robes? They are the federal judges who have been highly exalted and lifted up, by Liberals, far above all other men as final arbiters of what is right and wrong, thus taking the place of God. And that is the real goal, the ultimate goal of all Liberals. They want to dis-
place and dethrone Almighty God. Liberal emulate their father the devil, in as much as they likewise, want to be god. Just as Satan promised Eve in the garden, "Ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil," so is the Liberals lust for power is driven by their desire to determine good and evil for all mankind, apart from and without respect to Almighty God.

robert2410
1628
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robert2410 01/06/14 - 04:13 pm
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Liberals are obsessed with
Unpublished

Liberals are obsessed with demonstrating their putative "moral superiority." Thus even though they live their lives without really helping anyone, the political activism they engage in is dedicated to convincing themselves that they are truly good people. Liberals are driven by the need to validate the unspoken assertion that "I care more than you do," which is ironic in the extreme since none of the government programs liberals have designed can be shown to have an overall positive influence in our society.

robert2410
1628
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robert2410 01/06/14 - 04:15 pm
0
0
Liberals believe that wealth
Unpublished

Liberals believe that wealth is static. Liberals believe that anyone who makes money must be stealing it from someone else. Liberals do not understand that in a free market, wealth is created and is constantly expanding. Liberals do not understand the simple dictum that "A rising tide lifts all boats." Liberals do not understand that the free market lifts the economic conditions of all men. Liberals do not understand that it is the creativity, ingenuity and hard work of the self-made millionaire's who creates better products or a better service and thus a better life for all mankind. A rising tide does indeed, lift all boats.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 01/06/14 - 04:37 pm
4
1
Also, I haven't seen anyone

Also, I haven't seen anyone mention the fact that you can still get birth control for FREE, at the health department. Yes, they still give out condoms and birth control pills. I believe you must have a prescription for the birth control pills, but if you have one, they are FREE. I would have to ask my wife on the prescription, because she was the one always got them. But I do know they were free.

GiantsAllDay
9865
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GiantsAllDay 01/06/14 - 04:46 pm
2
3
So the Catholic Church

So the Catholic Church doesn't want to pay for birth control. Do they pay for boner pills? If they do, then that's a little hypocritical.

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