The Privatization of the First Amendment

Posted: Dec 09, 2009 4:45 PM
President Obama’s nomination of Chai Feldblum to be a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) represents one of the most serious threats to religious freedom we have seen in a long time. True, we have seen other radical homosexual activist nominated to significant posts (see Kevin Jennings, among others), but the current political and cultural climate, the particular position, Feldblum’s reputation among the liberal elites and her extremely radical views are a lethal combination. Lethal for the First Amendment, that is.

Feldblum is a radical homosexual activist whose views on “homosexual rights” are among the most extreme. Although our right to religious freedom is expressly guaranteed by the Constitution, Feldblum argues that the “homosexual rights” judges have read into the Constitution should be held higher. She has said, “As a general matter, once a religious person or institution enters the stream of commerce ... I believe the enterprise must adhere to a norm of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity….”

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Under Miss Feldblum’s view, a Christian person running a daycare could not refuse to hire a man who dresses as a woman from a job taking care of your kids. You, as the owner of that business, must suppress your religious beliefs, which are again expressly guaranteed by the Constitution, just because you want to work to take care of your family.

The reason Feldblum is so dangerous is because she tries to appear “reasonable” and argues that she understands that religious people have rights, but she believes in the end “homosexual rights” should win out. She said, “While I was initially drawn to the idea of providing an exemption to those enterprises that advertise solely in very limited milieus (such as the bed & breakfast that advertises only on Christian Web sites), I became wary of such an approach as a practical matter….”

Her view of the Constitution demands that you renounce your God publicly if you want to be part of society. But don’t worry, you can still believe whatever you want privately. I guess the next “evolution” of the Constitution is the privatization of the First Amendment.

The position to which she is being nominated is also very important because there was another important figure in our history who served in this office early in his career. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was Chairman of the EEOC from 1982 to 1990, before becoming a judge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and later a Justice of the Supreme Court. Feldblum’s liberal reputation and credentials put her in prime position to follow a similar path.

She has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the radically pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is a law professor at the Georgetown University Law School, clerked for First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank M. Coffin, and also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun – the infamous liberal activist who authored the disastrous Roe v. Wade decision.

Her comments on her experience at the Supreme Court also reveal a distorted view of the law. Even liberal scholars today agree that Roe was essentially made-up law. And Feldblum apparently agrees with that, but doesn’t really care. In a New York Times piece on Justice Blackmun, she acknowledges that his “ability and desire to look behind the law and see the people is not the classic way to do law,” and said, “He brings a sense of caring and compassion that will be missed” (emphasis ours).

She has apparently learned well as she now tries to impose the new judicially made-up “homosexual rights” over our expressly guaranteed right to the free exercise of religion. If she were ever to become a judge it would be disastrous to our foundational principles of liberty. No question we have here the makings of a judicial activist all too willing to “look behind the law” to achieve “progress.”

If you pay attention to politics at all, you are well aware that the current political atmosphere provides the best possible climate for the development of Feldblum’s radical ideals. Liberals control both the House and the Senate with ample margins and their agenda has gone as far left as they can push it. The recent passage of federal “hate crimes” laws is a prime example. And the upcoming attempt to enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – which Feldblum helped to write — represents another weapon that she will be able to use in playing her role at the EEOC.

After a lifetime of radical activism for “homosexual rights,” does anybody doubt where her focus will be when working for “equal employment?” The government should not use its power to advocate one group of people over another, especially when that advocacy infringes on fundamental constitutional rights. This week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is set to take up Feldblum’s nomination, and unless we make our voices heard, her nomination will go through unscathed, and we will pay the consequences for years to come.

No matter what your political party, no matter your religion or if you have none at all, we should all be concerned about loosing our most cherished liberties. It is those liberties that lie at the foundation of everything we believe as a nation.

That is what is at stake with the nomination of Chai Feldblum to the EEOC. And every senator should approach it with that type of urgency. But it is up to us to make sure senators know we are watching and that we will remember how much they value our religious freedoms.

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