Religious Liberty Dying

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell last week. At issue is whether the federal government can force the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Catholic University of America and the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to provide contraceptive and abortion coverage as part of their health insurance plans, even if doing so goes against their free exercise of religion.

But there seems to be more afoot than the question of exemptions as alluded to by Justice Elena Kagan.

“I thought there was a very strong tradition in this country, which is that when it comes to religious exercises, churches are special, and that…if you’re saying that every time Congress gives an exemption to churches and synagogues and mosques, that they have to open that up to all religious people, then the effect of that is that Congress just decides not to give an exemption at all,” she said.

Basically, Kagan is disallowing for individual liberty, instead pointing to the Progressive idea that only ‘organized religious institutions’ can skirt the mandate. This is contrary to what the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has long taught the immorality of abortion and contraception. These teachings are indivisible from the faith and orthodox followers, which include religious institutions and as such, demand protection under the U.S. Constitution.

But to the government, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg later indicated, such beliefs aren’t a ‘compelling’ reason to allow an exemption, especially when the ‘right’ to ‘preventative healthcare services’ is at risk.

“As you know, the — the original health care plan didn’t provide these covered services for women, and it saw a compelling interest there, a need that was marginally ignored up until then,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated.

The federal government through the SCOTUS is trying to marginalize religious freedom, by spawning a state-created orthodoxy where individual religious beliefs are unacceptable.

Thomas Jefferson recognized the relationship between God and man when he penned a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

By distorting Jefferson’s word, this important concept’s been used to sanitize school classrooms, war memorials and courtrooms of references to faith. Its misapplication has led to believe that Jefferson’s intent was to confine religion to the church as shown by Kagan and Ginsburg.

Finally, when a new ‘right’ violates another God-given liberty — that so-called ‘right’ isn’t from God — but rather from imperfect man.

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