Category Archives: Freedom Of Religion
Found at MM: http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
By David Catron on 9.23.13
Some actual facts to wash off the media muck thrown at you over the weekend.
If you began last Friday by scanning the web for interesting news items, you were hit by a tsunami of stories suggesting that the Obama administration wishes the Supreme Court to intervene in its legal battle with Hobby Lobby over that company’s refusal to comply with the HHS contraception mandate. Most of the major “news”outlets began their coverage with a rented AP report titled, “US Wants Supreme Court to Take Up Hobby Lobby Case,” and followed up with tendentious opinion pieces insinuating that the administration took this step to thwart a dark plot by Hobby Lobby to deny its employees birth control coverage.
In reality, the Obama administration “wants” the Supreme Court involved in this case just about as much as you want a root canal. It was forced to file an appeal with the high court because, last June, Hobby Lobby dealt the government’s lawyers a resounding defeat in a federal appeals court. To understand how, one must first understand what this lawsuit is really about. It does not concern, as the Los Angeles Times suggests, whether a corporation can have religious beliefs. The case isn’t even about contraception — Hobby Lobby’s employee insurance plans cover birth control. Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius is about religious liberty.
The First Amendment of the Constitution begins thus: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The Hobby Lobby case has arrived on the steps of the Supreme Court because the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the company’s owners that the HHS contraception mandate restricts the free exercise of their religion. Rejecting the administration’s arguments to the contrary, the majority wrote, “[W]e cannot see why an individual operating for-profit retains Free Exercise protections but an individual who incorporates… does not.”
Read the entire article at: The American Spectator – http://spectator.org/archives/2013/09/23/the-truth-about-hobby-lobby-an
Dem Sen. Chris Murphy: Congress Morally Justified In Forcing Americans To Violate Their Religious Beliefs…
The arrogance on the left is stunning.
Via CNS News:
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said that it would be morally justifiable for Congress to pass a continuing resolution that forces Americans to buy health care plans covering abortion-inducing drugs even if doing so violates their religious beliefs.
CNSNews.com asked Murphy about funding the controversial provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, following a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
CNSNEWS: “As implemented the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, is forcing Christian individuals and business owners to purchase health plans that cover abortion-inducing drugs. Now as a result, people are going to be able to use those federal subsidies to buy plans that pay for abortions. Do you believe, Senator, you’re going to be morally justified in voting, through the next continuing resolution, to give the administration more money to do those things?”
SEN. MURPHY: “Yes.”
From WZ: http://weaselzippers.us/
From American Digest
In Your Face, Leftists! High School Valedictorian Ignores Atheistic Edict, Adds Lord’s Prayer To Speech (Video)
Roy Costner IV, a former public school student from South Carolina, stunned the audience at his high school graduation last weekend when he ripped up his previously-approved valedictorian speech, going on, instead, to speak about God – and then deliver the Lord’s prayer.
The act, which drew loud applause, was taken in opposition to the School District of Pickens County’s decision to axe prayers from graduation events, Christian News reports. Officials said that they had recently received complaints from atheist activists and church-state separatists, leading to the removal of invocations from all school events.
But that didn’t stop Costner.
The Liberty High School ceremony is already making its way into national headlines, as the valedictorian’s actions and the subsequent cheers this past Saturday were caught on video.
As he spoke, Costner went from merely mentioning “the Lord” to jumping right into the well-known prayer.
“Those that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today. I’m so glad that both of my parents led me to the Lord at a young age,” he said. “And I think most of you will understand when I say -”
And that’s when he commenced the popular invocation.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name,” Costner continued. “Thy Kingdom come…”
. Throughout the entirety of the prayer, cheers and clapping raged. The school district, which, as stated, was already facing scrutiny over graduation prayers earlier this year, has no plans to punish the former student for his actions (after all, he’s no longer under their authority, so what retribution could he receive?).
Some in attendance praised the speech as bold, while it’s likely that atheist activists and other church-state separatists will be less-than-contented by the inclusion of prayer.
“I think it took a lot of courage to do that,” one attendee said of Costner’s decision. “People were [supportive] that he stood up for what he believed in.”
Students, according to the district, must have their speeches approved before delivering them at graduation. While Costner began speaking from his secular script, he eventually deviated and invoked his faith.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/#
Dearborn (stan) Michigan Cancels The mooslim Hate Festival Because They Hate Christians That Attend and Exercise Their Free Speech Rights.
The city and organizers were facing increased insurance and liability costs because of the lawsuits filed and won by Christians who have repeatedly been subjected to taunts and physical assaults outside the festival in the past.
Detroit Free Press (h/t Rob E) The decision to cancel the festival comes after four years of tensions at the event between some Christian missionaries and local Muslims. Their encounters resulted in heated arguments, scuffles, some bottle-throwing and several lawsuits.
Last year, one group of Christian missionaries brought a pig’s head and signs insulting Islam’s prophet, which drew a strong reaction from some children. Earlier this month, the City of Dearborn apologized and paid an undisclosed amount of money to a group of Christian missionaries arrested in 2010 at the festival for disturbing the peace. They were later acquitted.
Local Arab Americans were upset over the cancellation of the festival because the original intent of it was to highlight Arab-American businesses, which helped turn east Dearborn from a ghost town into a thriving commercial destination, said local leaders, (where non-Muslims increasingly dare not go)
“It’s unfortunate there are groups who are seeking to create problems and incite people in a community where people are trying to build bridges of diversity,” (by barring Christians?) said Suehaila Amen, 34, of Dearborn. “This festival was about creating a Muslim family atmosphere during Father’s Day weekend. And yet, there are those who do not wish to see people enjoy their life.”
Dearborn resident Majed Moughni also said he was disappointed in the cancellation, but added that he understands the decision, given the high insurance and logistical costs for what became an increasingly tense event. “It’s not worth the cost,” he said.
In an attempt to create a more peaceful atmosphere, O’Reilly moved the location of the festival to Ford Woods Park. His plan would have allowed the festival to be in an enclosed area and would have required an admission fee.
But Baydoun said: “With the move to a new location, Ford Woods Park, we needed more time to ensure we provide a quality event that the community has come to expect from us.” There was concern that this year’s festival could become even more tense.
Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones said he was planning to attend the first day along with the California man who brought the pig’s head last year. In 2011, Jones attempted to attend the festival, but was met by angry protesters who tried to block him as he walked. Police then asked him to not attend.
The decision to cancel the festival illustrates some tensions between its Arab-American organizers and Dearborn officials. O’Reilly has been pushing to move the festival for three years, but the Chamber of Commerce resisted because the purpose of the festival was to promote Arab-American businesses along Warren.
Earlier this year, the city indicated it would not be giving permits for the Warren Avenue location and asked the chamber to consider having the festival in the park. Now, “it’s gotten to the point where people don’t even want to take their children to the festival because they don’t want them to be exposed to these bigoted messages and hateful speech,” Amen said.
Some conservatives say the incidents at the festival happened because the city is under the influence of Shari’a, Islamic law, a claim O’Reilly has repeatedly dismissed as absurd.
Robert Muise, an Ann Arbor attorney who represents the California-based Bible Believers — the Christian group that brought a pig’s head and anti-Islam signs last year to the festival — said the cancellation of the festival was “disappointing.” “However,” he added, “had the Christians’ rights been protected from the beginning, I doubt we would be at this point.”
As you watch the below video keep in mind
1. The Christian Street preachers notified in writing the Wayne County Sheriffs Department they would be attending the festival.
2. The Street preachers attended the festival last year and the police knew Ruben Israel and worked together in the past.
3. Wayne County Sheriff’s Chose not to provide Mr. Israel with two officers to provide security as the crowds became agitated.
4. Putting all these fact together one would conclude this was a Wayne County Sheriffs riot because Deputy Chiefs Jaafar and Richardson could have easily managed the situation and willfully abdicated their responsibility as public servants.
5. The street preachers never retaliated or said a negative word in anger to the Muslim rioters or law enforcement despite personal injury, cuts, bruises, spit, physical, and verbal abuse.
Found at FIJAW: http://maddmedic.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/toughashell.jpg
The Canary in the Culture
By Tom Trinko
In the olden days miners brought canaries into mines because canaries were very sensitive to toxic fumes and would keel over quickly, giving the miners time to escape before they were rendered unconscious.
The HHS mandate is serving a similar function in modern American culture. It’s making it clear that liberals believe in an all-powerful government, not the government empowered by the people that is enshrined in the Constitution.
Historically in America, the government has rarely collided with the religious beliefs of even extreme groups. A few exceptions, such as Mormon polygamy, were based on common values shared by the vast majority of Americans.
This lack of conflict was in great part due to the limited scope of government. If you were to bring an American from 1929, or even the middle of the New Deal, to modern America, he’d be shocked and probably appalled by the extent of government control over the lives of average Americans; historically very few Americans would have thought that the government had the right to define what sort of grocery bag a store provides, for example.
But as the tendrils of government extend into an ever-increasing number of aspects of day-to-day life the probability of conflicts with peoples’ moral codes grows.
In the past the right to practice one’s belief was taken very seriously. Even in conflicts viewed by Americans as existential, such as the Civil War and World War II, the rights of those whose faith called them to pacifism to not have to serve in combat roles, other than as medical support personnel, were recognized.
Yet the core of the HHS mandate, even with the latest attempt at a draft accommodation, presumes that only religious organizations have the right to exercise their religious beliefs. The latest HHS mandate revision is equivalent to saying that Quaker organizations don’t have to train soldiers but individual Quakers can be forced to fight.
It may seem that asking Catholics and others who believe that abortion-inducing chemicals are tools of murder and as such something they cannot directly pay for is not that big of a deal. That’s precisely why the HHS mandate is the canary. It’s true that the HHS mandate is not on the same level as China’s forced abortion policy. But the core philosophical assumption that powers the HHS mandate, even in its latest revision, would allow the government to institute a forced abortion policy or reinstitute slavery.
At the heart of the HHS mandate is the belief that the First Amendment does not mean what it says. To most the phrase
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
is pretty clear. It does not say freedom of worship, i.e. the right to go to church on Sunday or the temple on Saturday, as many liberals proclaim. It says that people can practice, i.e. exercise, their religious beliefs.
Under the Constitution, Americans define their own moral beliefs and in the vast majority of cases the government has to live with Americans practicing their beliefs. The HHS mandate is showing us that in the liberal mind, the government defines everyone’s morality and the average American has to live with the governments’ definition.
Liberals often demand that the beliefs and even feelings of tiny minorities of Americans must be respected; that’s why the 2.4% of Americans who are atheists can demand, in the minds of liberals, that high school valedictorian speakers not mention Jesus. Liberals support of tiny groups extends to those things that force the vast majority of Americans to behave differently and even against what they believe is right on occasion; what’s wrong with a Cross to honor fallen soldiers who were Christian?
Yet those same liberals tell us that the moral beliefs of Catholics, and other Christians, are trumped by the governments’ need to ensure that women can get free birth control. Essentially liberals believe that we have a 100% requirement to fund others’ sex lives but a 0% say in what sort of sex lives they have.
The harsh reality however is that liberals don’t give a hoot about the rights of small groups of Americans. If one examines liberal positions, one will find that liberals only support small groups when those small groups agree with liberal principles. That’s why liberals will support the Ground Zero Mosque but fight tooth and nail against a religious monument at a public cemetery.
If the Constitution Doesn’t Matter…
The Congress votes on restricting the size of ammunition magazines, expanding controls over who can buy guns, and limiting the types of guns that citizens can buy, even though the Constitution expressly forbids them from passing any such laws.
The EPA director uses a false email identity to hide her communications from public scrutiny. An entire network of three-letter agencies takes over Congressional functions and operates outside of Constitutional bounds as unaccountable lawmakers, enforcers, and judges in every area of life.
The president decides he doesn’t care for certain laws and therefore won’t enforce them, even though that is his job. He demands that private companies obey his wishes, and attacks those who don’t.
The Congress votes on far-reaching laws without even reading them. The Supreme Court declares them to be Constitutional even though they are outside the functional areas delegated to the federal government. The Senate can’t be bothered to consider a budget.
The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal treatment under the law, but the president casually waives the application of onerous legislation for companies he favors, sparing them massive cost and compliance burdens that their competitors must still bear.
The federal government refuses to carry out its Constitutional border control responsibility, and sues a state that tries to protect itself by enforcing existing federal law.
The Tenth Amendment reserves all undelegated powers to the states or the people, but the docile states take federal money and mostly operate as federal departments, not as independent and sovereign entities.
In 2008 our current president said we need a “civilian national security force” as large and well-funded as the U.S. military. Domestic agencies have now stockpiled over a billion rounds of ammunition, much of it hollow-point cartridges designed for close-combat use… inside the country?
Does the Constitution not matter anymore?
George Washington believed that
…the Constitution, which at any time exists ’till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all.
The means of changing it “by an explicit act of the whole People” are set forth in the document itself, and they don’t include having a “living document” draw deeply on something that looks like a homemade cigarette, wander among the penumbras and emanations, and declare itself to mean something new, something never before imagined.
The only alternative is for it to be discarded, if not kept; there’s no provision for it to be gently smudged into a slightly different set of “suggested guidelines” for each new administration. It has no severability clause allowing some pieces to be kept and others struck. Picking and choosing is not an option.
So has it been discarded? Are we in a post-Constitutional period, as Mark Levin suggests?
The English Defence League has just posted an update on Tommy Robinson’s situation. The most important thing is Tommy’s new address at Wayland Prison. People are encouraged to send cards and notes to that address, and also money orders, since he lacks all ready cash to spend inside:
Remember: DO NOT address mail to “Tommy Robinson” or mention the EDL, as these actions are considered grounds for withholding correspondence.
The latest news on Tommy is not encouraging, but hardly unexpected. The prison authorities have clearly been instructed to make their well-known guest as miserable as possible.
Visiting time has been cut from two hours to 70 minutes, so that Tommy’s children get that much less time to spend with their father. Scheduled visits have been reassigned from the customary 2pm to 9am, forcing his family to get up before dawn on the days that they travel to see him. Then, when they arrive, the abbreviated visiting period makes the circumstances that much more difficult and painful.
As the EDL report notes:
The more anger they generate, people become more determined, more resolute, and more likely to fight harder than ever before. The EDL is not something to be subdued or pressured into capitulation which is why they are dong their upmost to cause Tommy maximum upset for the remainder of his sentence.
Tommy reports that a Muslim inmate spits through his cell door on a daily basis, while the guards look on and do nothing. When he remonstrated with one of the guards, referring to the Muslim prisoner as “a dirty tramp”, the guard was concerned only that the Muslim’s feelings might have been hurt by Tommy’s words.
Tommy resorted to blocking his door with tissue paper to keep the spittle out, but was disciplined for doing so.
As the EDL says, “The prison system really want to break him and are certainly going the extra mile to make that happen.” They urge their supporters to make complaints on Tommy’s behalf using this letter as a model, making appropriate adjustments to the text in light of recent updates.
Read more at the English Defence League website.
From Gates of Vienna: http://gatesofvienna.net
Without insurance birth control pills cost only $9 per month, Leukemia treatments are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and the last time I checked there were no religious objects to Leukemia coverage.
So she wants the federal government to trample on religious freedoms so she doesn’t have to pay $9 a month.
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
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From Wirecutter: http://ogdaa.blogspot.com/
Hollywood Psychotic Moonbat Alec Baldwin: Obama’s Re-Election Signaled “The End Of White, Middle-Aged Christian Male Dominance”…
Must suck being consumed with white liberal guilt.
ZIP from Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
The Nature of Tyranny
by Nick McAvelly
The philosopher Isaiah Berlin gave a lecture at the University of Oxford in 1958 which has appeared in print several times since. In that lecture, Berlin discussed two concepts of liberty, and argued that a form of tyranny exists which claims the name of freedom, but which has fuelled some of humanity’s darkest excesses. I argue here that we are on a slippery slope towards that same tyranny today.
Playing devil’s advocate here, it might be asserted that no such tyranny could arise in a democratic society. But as Berlin, and John Stuart Mill before him, have pointed out, this is indeed logically possible. To believe otherwise is to indulge in wishful thinking.
In Britain today, a country where elections still take place, the political class are wedded to the doctrine of multiculturalism, but this doctrine is barely discussed by the majority of British voters.
In his lecture, Berlin defined “negative freedom” as the range of actions open to an individual and argued that this could be extended, and your liberty increased, by either overcoming and defeating obstacles in your way, or by taking steps to reduce your desires and aims. The latter course of action would result in a condition being reached where you no longer wanted what you couldn’t have and, having no frustrated desires, you could therefore be said to be more “free” than someone who did.
This process of eliminating your desires was likened by Berlin to retreating into a citadel. In Britain today people are more concerned with watching The X Factor in their free time than they are with discussing the doctrines of Islam, or of considering the long-term consequences of uncontrolled immigration. And that is the way mainstream British politicians like it.
Any British citizen who speaks openly about the fundamental tenets of Islam, or the character of Islam’s prophet, or the policies of shariah law, will find himself in for a rough ride. As more and more British citizens are finding out, speaking about Islam in our country today means your character will be assassinated, your livelihood will be in jeopardy, and you may very well lose your liberty. Your life may even be at risk. This state of affairs serves two purposes. It reinforces the citadel which the political class are happy to see British citizens live inside, and it lets everyone know what will happen to those who venture beyond the walls.
In Britain today, under Section 4A and Section 5 of the Public Order Act, it is a criminal offence to use insulting words. The negative freedom of British citizens has been reduced by this legislation, and this has happened in a democratic society.
The political class don’t want working class British citizens to question the doctrine of multiculturalism. And they will sacrifice your liberty and mine in order to implement their solution to the problem of how we all ought to live. In one of the most well known passages in philosophy, Berlin said:
“One belief, more than any other, is responsible for the slaughter of individuals on the altars of the great historical ideals – justice or progress or the happiness of future generations, or the sacred mission or emancipation of a nation or race or class, or even liberty itself, which demands the sacrifice of individuals for the freedom of society. This is the belief that somewhere, in the past or in the future, in divine revelation or in the mind of an individual thinker, in the pronouncements of history or science, or in the simple heart of an uncorrupted good man, there is a final solution. This ancient faith rests on the conviction that all the positive values in which men have believed must, in the end, be compatible, and perhaps even entail one another.” (Isaiah Berlin)
We are told that all cultures and values are compatible and that our own British culture will be “enriched” because of uncontrolled immigration, which will apparently cause “diversity”; that multiculturalism provides the final solution of how mankind ought to live, and the freedom of British citizens to think or say otherwise can, and indeed must, be sacrificed in its name.
But if it cannot be logically demonstrated that different values (from one culture, never mind different cultures) are compatible with one another, and our experience shows us that different cultural values are not in fact reconcilable with each other then as Berlin argues, the very notion of a final solution to the question of how we are to live is “a formal contradiction, a metaphysical chimera”.
The fundamental tenets of Islamic doctrine contradict absolutely those of Christianity, for the religion founded by Mahomet denies the crucifixion, denies that Jesus was the Son of God, and denies the Trinity. Therefore the religion of Islam cannot be reconciled with Christianity. Experience shows us that the demands made by Islam upon those who submit fully to it cause people to act in ways that are directly contrary to our most cherished cultural values. And as societies becomes shariah-compliant, the negative liberty of women, children (who are brought up to think of themselves as Muslims) and non-Muslims is significantly reduced, a fact which clearly demonstrates that Islamic doctrines are logically incompatible with human freedom.
It follows that we are as likely to see a beast walk the earth with the head of a lion, the tail of a serpent, and the body of a goat as we are to see multiculturalism actually work.
That will not prevent those politicians entranced by multiculturalism from striving to implement their final solution to the question of how we should live our lives. We have seen tyrannies arise throughout history, and some of the worst began by restricting the negative freedom of their own citizens, and silencing political opposition. In the landmark television series The World At War, Christabel Bielenberg, who was married to a German at the time, said that the Nazis inflicted their tyranny upon German society “drip by drip, rather like an anaesthetic, one could almost say, and it was only when a specific thing that he did hit you personally that you actually realised what was going on.”
No one living in Britain today can seriously believe that our politicians are infallible. To paraphrase John Stuart Mill, British politicians do not have the authority to decide how we ought to live our lives. But to refuse a hearing to an opinion which contradicts theirs because they are sure it is false is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. The political class in Britain today believe that, in the doctrine of multiculturalism, they have the final solution to the question of how humanity should live.
So we have fallible people chasing a logical impossibility, a “metaphysical chimera”, and slowly restricting the negative liberty of British citizens so that any dissenting voices who might speak out against that fabulous project cannot be heard. History teaches us that when these conditions obtain a society is heading down the slippery slope to tyranny.
There is no final solution to the question of how we should all live our lives. That is precisely what makes our freedom so important. Knowing that the claims of the religion founded by Mahomet absolutely contradict both our own British cultural values and our own religious beliefs, we are free to reject it, lock, stock and barrel.
That is what it means to be free. If anyone doesn’t understand that, of doesn’t like it, then quite frankly, I just don’t care.
From Gates of Vienna: http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-nature-of-tyranny.html#more
This should all be over with soon once Comrade Obama is booted from office.
(Reuters) – A Catholic-owned family business in Michigan does not have to comply with the provision of the new U.S. healthcare law that requires private employers to provide employees with health insurance that covers birth control, a federal judge in Detroit has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, in a ruling late Wednesday, temporarily blocked the government from forcing the owner of Weingartz Supply Company, which sells outdoor power equipment, to include contraception in its health coverage of employees.
The ruling only affects the company’s Catholic proprietor, Daniel Weingartz, and the approximately 170 people who work for him. But it opens the door for other firms to seek relief on religious grounds.
Cleland is now the second federal judge to temporarily block part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 from being enforced against the religious owners of a family business. In July, U.S. District Judge John Kane in Denver temporarily prevented the government from requiring the Catholic owners of Hercules Industries Inc, a private manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, to provide health insurance that covers birth control.
Weingartz was joined in his lawsuit, filed in May, by Legatus, a national association of Catholic business owners.
Roman Catholic bishops and many Republican lawmakers have opposed the birth control provision, and priests have been speaking out against the law from pulpits across the country. Church doctrine opposes artificial contraception but most American Catholics do not adhere to church policy.
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
Neither a Faithful Catholic nor Patriotic American can vote for an administration which upholds the HHS Mandate, an unelected bureaucrat’s command that the Catholic Church grossly violate her deeply held and sacred beliefs. The HHS Mandate is burning the flag, using the Constitution as toilet paper, and trampling the crucifix all at once.
Mr Hall of Mordecai’s Dragon puts it this way:
The HHS Mandate is a very foul and dangerous thing. Say what you wish about the overall Obamacare Plan; it is not the issue here. Many on either side of the political spectrum will attempt to make it seem as if it were. Some have even accused the U.S. Council of Bishops of despising Universal Healthcare. This is blatantly not so, they have been for the welfare and care of all peoples, however disadvantaged, for quite some time now, if there was ever even a time they were not. In fact, many are like myself, who oppose the Mandate, but not the idea that all men should be cared for and looked after when ill or injured. We oppose this loathsome Mandate because of one reason: it forces people to act against their religious beliefs in a drastic and harmful way. Namely, it threatens any institution that holds Christian (and Islamic and Jewish and occasionally Buddhist and Hindu) pro-life values and is not exclusively run for and by members of that same religion. It hammers them with large financial penalties if they do not grievously violate their own religious tenets. Basically, it forces the organization to pay for sterilizations, birth control pills (abortifacient), morning-after pills (distinctly abortifacient) and other such things. It forces the Catholic Church, among others, to pay for the murder of children and the degradation of human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
Naturally, this is intolerable to many in this country. “I’m sorry, you have deeply held religious beliefs about the sanctity of sexuality and human life? Violate them or we run you into the ground with fines.” This applies to every school (pre-school through University level), hospital, and social work organization that is part of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. And, as I have said, many other churches besides. This act is an abomination…
We have three options now with the HHS Mandate
1) Comply. Act against our own beliefs in a horrendous manner.
2) Refuse to comply and continue to hold open our charities. We are then fined slowly to death or crippled to the point where we can do nothing.
3) Shut down. Which leaves us at the bleak point of #2.
Now, if we shut down or are forced to close, this is what will happen: all the people we served, all the needy, the children who need schooling, the sick who need healing, all of them are suddenly cut adrift in the economy. What better people to use as fodder for supporting Obamacare? Or any other expansion of Government aid our dear President might want to ram through the legislature?
From John C. Wright: http://www.scifiwright.com/
Obama and His Corrupt Regime Taking Away Your Freedom to Practice Your Religion and Faith Under Obamacare
Some private companies are claiming the HHS contraception mandate is a denial of their First Amendment rights. In response to dozens of lawsuits brought against the Obama administration the mandate, the Department of Justice has argued two points that have stunned constitutional experts.
A case was brought earlier this month by the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) on behalf of Legatus, the nation’s largest organization of Catholic business leaders, and by Weingartz Supply, an outdoor power equipment company. Attorneys for the Obama administration have argued, first, that the government can make a requirement that violates religious beliefs, and, second, that a private company cannot reflect the religious faith of its owners.
The Obama administration’s opposition filing to the motion brought by TMLC states:
Weingartz Supply Company and Mr. Weingartz’s challenge rests largely on the theory that a self-described secular corporation established to sell outdoor power equipment can claim to exercise religion and thereby avoid the reach of laws designed to regulate commercial activity. This cannot be.
…Weingartz Supply Company is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion… It is well established that a corporation and its owner are wholly separate entities, and the Court should not permit Mr. Weingartz to eliminate that legal separation to impose his personal religious beliefs on the corporate entity’s group health plan or its employees. Mr. Weingartz cannot use the corporate form alternatively as a shield and a sword, depending on what suits him in any given circumstance.
From this argument, it appears the Obama administration believes that if you own a private company, you must leave your faith at home before you go to work each day.
The DOJ continues in response to Mr. Weingartz’ claim of a violation of the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment:
…the regulations do not violate plaintiffs’ free speech or free association rights. The regulations compel conduct, not speech. They do not require plaintiffs to say anything; nor do they prohibit plaintiffs from expressing to company employees or the public their views in opposition to the use of contraceptive services. And the regulations do not interfere in any way with the composition of the company’s workforce or the association’s membership.
We see here that the Obama administration asserts that a privately-owned company cannot carry out its religious beliefs in its company policies if those beliefs are in disagreement with a requirement of the federal government. However, the federal government may impose its beliefs- that contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs are “healthy” for women- on privately-owned companies. In addition, the Obama administration argues that the federal government may order privately-owned companies to do anything it wishes, even if it has no authority to control the speech of company owners.
In another case brought this past Wednesday, the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby Stores filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration charging that the HHS mandate is forcing the company’s owners “to violate their deeply held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines, penalties, and lawsuits.”
Hobby Lobby describes itself as a “biblically founded business” and is closed on Sundays. The company, which is self-insured, operates more than 500 stores in 41 states, and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance coverage. The company asserts that if it fails to comply with the mandate, it will incur fines of up to $1.3 million per day. According to the HHS mandate, the company must begin complying with the law on January 1, 2013.
“By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” said David Green, CEO and founder of Hobby Lobby Stores. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”
Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit has been filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington. Hobby Lobby is the largest and only non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the HHS mandate. According to Lori Windham, senior counsel for the Becket Fund, “Washington politicians cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living. Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.”
There are currently 28 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under ObamaCare.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
2012: A Time For Righteous Indignation & Resolve
By Doug Giles /15 August 2012
Anger, like alcohol, is only bad if it’s abused; however, if used for right reasons and in right amounts (as the inspired Psalmist once said about wine), it can “make the heart merry.” Anger might not make you glad as quickly as a second glass of merlot can, but if channeled correctly, it will make you giddy about something you desire but can’t get—until you get angry.
For example: say you’re an unemployed, 38-year old guy who does nothing but sit on your butt playing video games, smoking weed, living with mommy and dating 18-year old girls and guys. You know what? You should get angry with yourself because you, clearly, aren’t the coldest beer in the fridge. You do not have a life, and it should make you mad that other people are actually productive—unlike you.
Folks, this righteous wrath not only works for personal improvement, but it can also change for the better all aspects of our society—if we’ll get righteously PO’ed in a precise direction. And there’s the rub . . . Our neutered nation tells us it’s a big no-no to get mad anymore.
That’s right, being angry is forbidden in our currently castrated culture—unless it’s something that the liberal thought police thinks you should be ticked at, and then you’re forced to fume also or you’re . . . you’re . . . you’re a . . . a Nazi!
Nowadays we’ve been forced to memorize this mantra of progressivism that being nice and accepting of anything and everything—even if it is utter, uncut and unmitigated BS—is our duty. And it just so happens that BS is the chief characteristic of our society these days; we’re inundated with it but not supposed to be upset by it, which is convenient if you are its seller.
Because we have allowed “them” to program us to be nice and not heat up (unless, again, it is at something that upsets the Left), we don’t even blink an eye when we see the base and the vile; instead we force a smile. What a bunch of smack we’ve been sold vis-à-vis this whole uninterrupted “nice” wave we’ve been told we’re supposed to surf.
Today, people can do something appalling, say something contemptible and delve down the funnel exalting the lowest parts of humanity—and what’s to be our response? We’re supposed to say, “Well, alrighty then . . . okey dokey . . . have a nice day.”
Why do we show mock civility toward things that mock civility? Well, because “anger is bad.” And we don’t want to be bad, do we? No, we want to be nice. We’re supposed to be a chilled-out group of pleasant and complicit prawns who do the Miss America wave no matter what kind of insanity gets shoved in our faces, up our tail pipes or down our throats.
Well, as a free bird, I’m not buying the capitulate-your-convictions PC crack that our culture is currently dealing. As previously stated, anger ain’t all that bad boys and girls, and being nice when you should blow a gasket can aid and abet that which needs to be slapped down. Can you dig it? I knew you could.
So what gets my dander up? What/whom do I think is a threat to the US and that for which it stands? Or stood? What do I get freaked over?
Well, there are several things me no likey:
1. I don’t like radical Muslims.
2. I don’t like what democrats have become.
3. I don’t like people screwing around with my right to keep and bear arms.
4. I don’t like traditional values being trashed.
5. I don’t like folks who don’t like America.
6. I don’t like the slutification of our culture.
7. I don’t like metrosexuality.
8. I don’t like how our universities have become liberal madrasas.
9. I don’t like 11 year old girls being given birth control without parental notification by public school fools.
10. I don’t like the fact that teenage girls can have an abortion via the public school system without their parents knowing didly squat.
11. I don’t like second graders being told to read and embrace homosexual literature and lifestyle.
12. I don’t like our borders being violated by illegals.
13. I don’t like Christians being trashed at every turn in the mainstream media.
14. I don’t like gun free zones.
15. I don’t like sanctuary cities that house illegal aliens.
16. I don’t like how culture is making the white male out to be the Antichrist.
This is just a smattering of things I think stink of which I feel no compunction to accept. Matter of fact, folks, I think we ought to get righteously outraged and challenge, peacefully of course, those with such anti-sanity sentiments everywhere they raise their garlic-knotted heads. If we don’t solidly beat the Left and their ideologies everywhere they surface, the things we love as traditional Americans are going to end up as relics in a museum in a country that resembles a Tommy Lee keg party.
Lastly, in all honesty, as much as I enjoy being the provocateur, I’d really love to not stir things up, to be sweet like Joel Osteen or James Blunt and live a non-conflict life with my family sipping lemonade and fishing south Florida’s flats. However, sometimes the times demand that we put aside our smiley face and take off the gloves for the soul of our nation. I believe such a time has come.
Those Evil People at Faith Research Council Must Be Stopped. They Believe in Faith, Family, and Freedom. What Horrible Concepts.
This might offer some insight into why moonbats are so avid to disarm conservatives:
A security guard at the Family Research Council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. is being hailed as a hero after he stopped a gunman posing as an intern, taking a bullet in the arm before wrestling the suspect to the ground.
The gunman entered the lobby of the organization’s Chinatown headquarters around 10:45 and expressed disagreement with the conservative group’s policy positions, Fox News has learned. When the guard, who was not identified, asked him where he was going, he opened fire, according to police.
I’m sure the guard felt better after the loony helpfully explained, “it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”
What does it stand for that would drive a progressive to violence?
The FRC is a conservative nonprofit that seeks to advance “faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion,” according to its website.
Imagine if it turns out that Obama’s disgraceful election was the high water mark of moonbattery, and that faith, family, and freedom are the future. Libs aren’t going to get any less angry.
On tips from Ghost of FA Hayek and J.
From Nice Deb
There’s a number of examples of progressive anti-religious hatred at the post.
Plus, a link to the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance.
PREVIOUSLY: “Atheist for #LGBT Rights Says Chick-fil-A ‘Harms Mor Gays’.”
Christian Religious Belief and Freedom To Practice That Belief Now Running Head-on into Obamacare Mandates
The Justice Department last week presented the Newland family of Colorado – who own Hercules Industries, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning business – with what amounted to an ultimatum: Give up your religion or your business.
“Hercules Industries has ‘made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business,” the Justice Department said in a formal filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
In response to the Justice Department’s argument that the Newlands can either give up practicing their religion or give up owning their business, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the family, said in a reply brief: “[T]o the extent the government is arguing that its mandate does not really burden the Newlands because they are free to abandon their jobs, their livelihoods, and their property so that others can take over Hercules and comply, this expulsion from business would be an extreme form of government burden.”
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its mandate that individuals must buy health insurance, this suit which seeks to protect a small business from being forced to take actions that violate the moral and religious beliefs of the family that owns it is likely to be the next major court battle over Obamacare.
At stake is whether businesses are protected by the First Amendment – the part of the Bill of Rights that guarantees not only the free exercise of religion but also freedom of speech and of the press.
The Justice Department’s filing was made in Newland v. Sebelius – a suit brought by William, Paul and James Newland, and their sister, Christine Ketterhagen, who are Roman Catholics, and who together own Colorado-based Hercules Industries.
The Newland family founded Hercules in 1962 and have maintained it as a family-owned business ever since – growing it to the point where they now employ 265 people.
The Newlands’ lawsuit challenges a regulation that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finalized earlier this year that requires virtually all health plans to cover–without cost-sharing–sterilizations and all Food-and-Drug Administration approved contraceptives, including those that induce abortions.
Under the Obamacare law, businesses that have more than 50 employees must provide health insurance to their employees or face a penalty. To satisfy the mandate, the insurance must include the cost-sharing-free sterilization-contraception-abortifacient benefit. The regulation takes effect on Aug. 1, which means that as soon as any business starts a new plan-year for its health-insurance program after that date it will need to comply with Sebelius’s rule.
The Catholic Church, to which the Newlands belong, teaches that sterilization, contraception and abortion are intrinsically immoral. Last month, the Catholic bishops of the United States unanimously adopted a statement declaring Sebelius’s regulation an “unjust and illegal mandate” and a “violation of personal civil rights.”
While much of the media attention on Sebelius’ regulation has focused on the fact that it will apply to famous Catholic religious institutions such as Catholic University and the University of Notre Dame, the Catholic bishops have repeatedly pointed out that the regulation also violates the First Amendment-protected religious liberty of lay Catholic individuals. That includes employees who will be forced to pay insurance premiums on insurance plans that violate the teachings of their faith and business owners who will be forced to provide such plans.
In their unanimous statement, the Catholic bishops declared that Sebelius’s regulation created a class of Americans “with no conscience protection at all: individuals who, in their daily lives, strive constantly to act in accordance with their faith and moral values. They, too, face a government mandate to aid in providing ‘services’ contrary to those values – whether in their sponsoring of, and payment for, insurance as employers; their payment of insurance premiums as employees; or as insurers themselves – without even the semblance of an exemption.”
The Newlands currently run a self-insurance plan, providing their employees with generous health-care coverage that is consistent with the teachings of the Newlands’ church in that it does not cover sterilizations, contraception and abortifacients. They are precisely among the class of people that the unanimous Catholic bishops said have “no conscience protection at all” under Sebelius’s regulation.
In their complaint against the Obama administration, which was prepared by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Newlands clearly explained why they could not comply with Sebelius’s regulation without violating their religious faith.
“The Newlands sincerely believe that the Catholic faith does not allow them to violate Catholic religious and moral teachings in their decisions operating Hercules Industries,” says the complaint. “They believe that according to the Catholic faith their operation of Hercules must be guided by ethical social principles and Catholic religious and moral teachings, that the adherence of their business practice according to such Catholic ethics and religious and moral teachings is a genuine calling from God, that their Catholic faith prohibits them to sever their religious beliefs from their daily business practice, and that their Catholic faith requires them to integrate the gifts of the spiritual life, the virtues, morals, and ethical social principles of Catholic teaching into their life and work.”
“The Catholic Church teaches that abortifacient drugs, contraception and sterilization are intrinsic evils,” says the complaint. “As a matter of religious faith the Newlands believe that those Catholic teachings are among the religious ethical teachings they must follow throughout their lives including in their business practice.”
The Justice Department responded by arguing that if the Newlands’ Roman Catholic faith prevented them from following the Obama administration’s command that they provide their employees with cost-sharing-free coverage for sterilizations, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, the Newlands could simply give up their business entirely.
The Justice Department further argued that people owning for-profit secular businesses do not have a First Amendment right to the free exercise religion in the way they conduct their businesses—particularly if their business is incorporated.
“Here, plaintiffs have not sufficiently alleged that the preventive services coverage regulations substantially burden their religious exercise,” the Justice Department told the court. “Hercules Industries, Inc., is not a religious employer; it is ‘an HVAC manufacturer.’”
“The First Amendment Complaint does not allege that the company is affiliated with a formally religious entity such as a church,” the Justice Department told the federal court. “Nor does it allege that the company employs persons of a particular faith. In short, Hercules Industries is plainly a for-profit, secular employer.”
“By definition,” the Justice Department claimed, “a secular employer does not engage in any ‘exercise of religion.’”
“Hercules Industries has ‘made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business,” DOJ told the court. “Any burden is therefore caused by the company’s choice to enter into a commercial activity.”
In its brief responding to the Justice Department on behalf of the Newland family, the Alliance Defending Freedom forcefully rebutted the claim that the First Amendment does not apply to corporations let alone to family-owned businesses.
“The government argues that the Newlands forfeited their right to religious liberty as soon as they endeavored to earn their living by running a corporation,” said the Newlands’ brief.
“Nothing in the Constitution, the Supreme Court’s decisions, or federal law requires – or even suggests – that families forfeit their religious liberty protection when they try to earn a living, such as by operating a corporate business,” they argued.
If the Obama administration’s understanding of the First Amendment were accepted, argued the Alliance Defending Freedom’s brief, the media would have no rights either.
“The government’s exclusionary attitude would push religion out of every sphere of life except the four wall of a church,” they said in their brief. “If for-profit corporations have no First Amendment ‘purpose,’ newspapers and other media would have no rights.”
If they refuse to sell their businesses, families like the Newlands are trapped by the Sebelius regulation. They can stop providing health insurance to themselves and their employees through the business, but then they and their employees would still be required, under Obamacare’s individual mandate, to buy health insurance, and under the Sebelius regulation all the health insurance plans they would be able to buy would still be required to cover sterilizations, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs. Their premiums would then contribute to those “services,” and the business owners would still be required to pay a penalty to the government of about $2,000 per year for each employee they did not insure.
If businesses like the Newlands’ try to simply flout the Sebelius regulation and continue providing insurance to their workers that does not cover the sterilization-contraception-abortifacient benefits that the Obama administration demands, they will be hit with confiscatory financial penalties.
“PPACA also imposes monetary penalties if Hercules were to continue to offer its self-insured plan but continued omitting abortifacients, contraceptive and sterilizations,” said the Newlands’ complaint. “The exact magnitude of these penalties may vary according to the complicated provisions of PPACA, but the fine is approximately $100 per day per employee, with minimum amounts applying in different circumstances.
With 265 employees, a business like the Newlands’ would need to pay the government $26,500 per day if they decided not to comply with Sebelius’s regulation and insured their employees anyway. Over 365 days that would amount to $9,672,500.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/#