Thursday, July 09, 2020

"Sisters" Win First Amendment Fight---For Now

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The Little Sisters of the Poor won a Supreme Court victory yesterday in their 7-year battle to avoid being forced to provide birth control through their insurance, which would violate their religious faith and biblical belief in the sanctity of life.

While the High Court's ruling was 7-2---the 2 are promising there's more resistance to come from the people obsessed with killing and discarding unwanted, unborn children.

And this case speaks to a broader war against the First Amendment.

Be informed, not misled.

The back story of the case.

This fight goes back 7 years to the implementation of Obamacare in 2013 when the Obama administration required religious groups to provide contraceptives through health insurance policies they provided as employers.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic charitable organization serving impoverished elderly people, fought back in court because of their religious beliefs.

When President Trump took office in 2017, he immediately issued an executive order requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create new rules that would protect religious groups from this kind of assault under the First Amendment.

Democrats pushed back hard, suing the Trump administration's new rules that protected the "Little Sisters" and other religious organizations that share their religious beliefs---forcing the nuns back to the Supreme Court for a second time.

The ruling.

In the Court's majority ruling Justice Clarence Thomas says the Court has found that HHS had the authority to write the new regulations protecting religious faith, canceling the nationwide Obamacare demand.

Thomas wrote this:

For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother. “[T]hey commit to constantly living out a witness that proclaims the unique, inviolable dignity of every person, particularly those whom others regard as weak or worthless.” But for the past seven years, they—like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision— have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs. After two decisions from this Court and multiple failed regulatory attempts, the Federal Government has arrived at a solution that exempts the Little Sisters from the source of their complicity-based concerns—the administratively imposed contraceptive mandate.
We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. We further hold that the rules promulgating these exemptions are free from procedural defects.

Justice Alito agreed, further affirming the nun's right to religious freedom calling for the Little Sister's "legal odyssey to end."

But it won't end, because the secular Left has little to no value for the First Amendment if it intrudes into their vision and agenda for America.

Justices Bader Ginsburg and Kagan are promising "more litigation."

Obama appointee Justice Elena Kagan says "more litigation is needed from the lower courts" to decide if Trump's HHS regulation was "arbitrary and capricious."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Obama appointee Justice Sotomayor both agreed and wrote:
"This leaves women workers to fend for themselves, to seek contraceptive coverage from sources...and absent another available source of funding, to pay for contraceptive services out of their own pockets."

Ironically, the mantra of the secular Left is that women should always "fend for themselves" and to think otherwise is "sexist."

This years-long attack of the Little Sisters right to religious freedom speaks to a larger battle against religious freedom in our country---a country founded by Christians.

How far will the radical, secular left go to abolish the First Amendment and the religious freedom it affirms and protects?

Yesterday Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church (Dallas, TX),  the fastest growing and one of the largest in America, tweeted,
"Make no mistake about it, the same anarchism that wants to erase American history and heritage will be coming after Biblical history next. Next up after the founding fathers will be Jesus and the apostles."

Well, he's right. In fact Jesus---if He is depicted by a "white" statue, and His mother Mary has already been put on notice that they "have to go." They, it is said by the anarchists, are a "gross representation of white supremacy."

What is "religious freedom" anyway?

Religious freedom is more than the "freedom to worship" at a synagogue, church, or mosque. It means people shouldn't have to go against their core values and beliefs in order to conform to the culture or government.

You will recall during the Obama administration years, President Obama, VP Biden and Sec of State Hillary Clinton began using the term "freedom of worship" rather than "freedom of religious expression" or "freedom of religion." That was a calculated move to reduce what religious freedom means constitutionally.

"Worship" means a service or meeting in a building somewhere, affirming people's common religious beliefs while expressing allegiance or "worship" to God...or whomever.

That's certainly a part of religious freedom, but it's not the whole of religious freedom.

Religious freedom protects people's right to live, speak, and act according to their beliefs peacefully and publicly. It protects their ability to be themselves at work, in class, and at social activities.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government may limit religious freedom---but only when it has a "compelling interest" to do so in order to protect the common good and limit people's ability to harm others.

This has been the main argument made by homosexuals against florists, bakers, and photographers when planning their same-sex "weddings."

Homosexuals, for example, have flipped the intent of the law, claiming the services are not available elsewhere, even though the services are available, thus creating a so-called basis for a lawsuit.

It is true, that constitutionally defined religious freedom prevents the cultural majority from using the power of the state to impose their beliefs on others. The intent of the First Amendment, however, has been inverted and is being used by a small minority to force their beliefs on the majority---and now punish them with newly written laws if they don't comply---regardless of what they happen to believe.

The value of one's "conscience" has been the cornerstone of personal and cultural freedom and liberty. Now the "conscience" is being kicked to the side of the road, much like the statues and monuments that do not fit the current enforced beliefs of the far Left radicals.

I believe America is treading on thin ice. To the degree we cast true religious freedom aside, to that degree we will diminish the culture and our country itself.

It's time to decide who we are and what we believe, then ask God for the courage to stand in the gap---and to pray, vote, and act accordingly.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful.