As the Supreme Court starts its three day marathon to hear arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare, let’s be clear about their challenge, and ours.
The challenge before the Court, a challenge it has often not lived up to, is to keep perspective that applying our constitution is not about splitting hairs about the meaning of words in order to further a personal agenda. It’s about applying, in good faith, the principles that define this country and assuring that our government operates in a fashion consistent with those principles.
There is no technical substitute for common sense. And clever men can always use words to overpower men not as clever to show anything they want. Cleverness should serve principle, not vice versa.
Let’s recall the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857 when the Supreme Court decisively ruled 7-2 that slaves in America were property no different than wagons or cattle and could never be treated, under the US Constitution, as citizens.
This in a nation founded under the principle that it is self evident “…that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”
We confront today new energetic efforts to undermine the principles upon which this nation stands.
Demonstrations are taking place nationwide to drive home to the American people, and hopefully to the nine Supreme Court justices, that Obamacare, passed in 2010 through procedural gymnastics, and without a single Republican vote, blatantly violates our core principles of human liberty.
One wave of protest in which I am taking part, giving a keynote address in Washington, DC, focuses on the violation of religious liberty by application of the employer mandate to provide “free” contraceptives, sterilization and abortion pills as part of health insurance.
Specifically, how can anyone who cares about fidelity to the principles of our Declaration of Independence fathom an America in which government forces religious institutions to violate their religious convictions or pay a fine?
An America in which Catholic organizations, or any religious organizations, are forced to finance the very behavior that their religion prohibits is a different America than originally founded and that the Constitution was written to preserve and secure.
No clear, honest reasoning can conclude that among the rights with which we are endowed by our Creator is a right to use government to force third parties to pay for the contraceptives of others. Particularly if this violates the religious convictions of that third party.