Skip to main content

SCOTUS may have brought us to crunch time on Freedom of Religion

This is no longer about baking "wedding" cakes for gay couples, people.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of a lower court's requirement that family-owned pharmacies must stock drugs used to induce abortions or to carry out executions despite personal religious or moral objections to abortion or capital punishment.

This is  not merely an unintended side effect of the ruling. It is the whole point. A pharmacy can refuse a drug because selling it would result in excessive paperwork. if it has a short shelf-life, if it might attract crime, or if the pharmacy serves a certain niche clientele that would have no use for the drug. But it cannot refuse to stock a drug for religious or moral reasons.

The state of affairs brought about by the refusal of the Court's four most liberal judges to permit the case to be heard is, of course, as blatant a violation of the First Amendment as can be imagined. But this is what we regrettably can expect as the liberals gain a majority on the Court. We have passed from the creation of imaginary Constitutional rights the Founders never dreamed of and which do not logically follow from the text of the Constitution itself to the negation by judicial fiat of specific rights granted in plain language and in no uncertain terms by the text of the Constitution itself. The subversive doctrine of a "living Constitution" has at last been brought to its logical conclusion: the text of the Constitution itself has no authority whatsoever. Effectively, the Constitution says whatever a majority of the Court thinks that it ought to say.

We have moved from having a government of laws to having government by nine unelected individuals with a degree of collective power far beyond anything the Founding Fathers would have tolerated being concentrated in so small and insular a group.

I've said before that I don't see the issue in selling a cake to a gay couple, although I certainly support the right of those who do to follow their consciences. The arbitrary redefinition of society's most basic institution for ideological reasons does not change the fact that that very institution has millennia- old definitions in most religious institutions which unlike the right of two people of the same gender to "marry" have an actual basis in the Constitution, in common law, and in the Western legal tradition going back to its very inception. The failure of the Court to take this into account is only one of many outrageous things about Obergefell v. Hodges,  and the latest absurdity from the Supreme Court takes the matter a step further.

Christians have no option when the secular law demands that they violate God's law.  As Peter answered the Sanhedrin when it was demanded that the Apostles stop preaching about Jesus, "We must obey God rather than men."

The teaching of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Reformed, Lutheran, Anabaptist and every other Christian religious tradition asserts the duty of the individual Christian to defy the authority of the secular government when it requires that he or she act in a manner contrary to what  their faith teaches them that God demands. No good Christian can comply with a legal requirement that he or she violate his or her conscience. Moreover, the law has always recognized the legitimacy of that requirement and bent over backwards to avoid situations in which it might apply. Young men who otherwise would have been drafted are allowed to claim conscientious objector status.  Always, American law has striven to honor and respect the individual conscience,

But now the White House declines to speak of "freedom of religion,' instead using the term "freedom of worship." More and more the Left denies that faith has any rights beyond the sanctuary of the church, synagogue or mosque. The Christian conviction which empowered and drove the Abolitionist movement, the movement against child labor, the Civil Rights movement and virtually every other significant movement of social reform in American history is being stifled by the very people who most loudly celebrate them.

And it becomes the duty of Christians to say "No," to defy the government when it demands that we render to Caesar what is God's, and even in the face of ruin and imprisonment at the hands of the maliciously irreligious to say with St. Peter, "We ought to obey God rather than men."

We dare not trust in princes- or in Constitutions. As much as we love America and all that it has traditionally stood for, when it stops standing for it we have no option but to remember that we have another City- a heavenly One- and it is to that City that we owe our primary loyalty.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

A third party President in 2020?

I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Searsby, the campaign manager for Evan McMullin last year, at an event for Evan here in Des Moines during the campaign. Here's an interview with Joel by Jon Ward of Yahoo News on the ways in which centrist French President Emmanuel Marcon's out-of-nowhere landslide election last year may serve as an example for the inevitable bid to elect a rational, moderate third party candidate in 2020.

I have a feeling that it will be Evan McMullin again. But names like John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham also keep popping up. Word is that Kasich may challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination, an endeavor in which I'd wish him well but hold out very, very little hope for his success. I sadly expect that my conviction that the Republicans are dead as a vehicle for rationality and the reuniting of our fractured and divided country to be confirmed by the easy renomination of the most unfit and unqualified preside…