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February 07, 2012

ACLU Indicates It Does Not Understand First Amendment

Iíve not written on the Obama Regimeís new regulation forcing the Catholic Church to pay for abortion and birth control for employees. Iím working on something about it, and will post on the topic soon. But this statement from the ACLU merits comment due to its fundamental misunderstanding of the First Amendment.

The American Civil Liberty Union announced today that President Obama's decision to mandate coverage for birth control does not violate religious liberty.

The ACLU's Alicia Gay warns that the "powerful lobbying arm of the Catholic Church" mistakenly claims that the HHS contraception mandate violates their religious liberty.

Individuals who choose not to pay for employees' contraceptives, the ACLU counters, are forcing their beliefs on their employees.

"The fundamental promise of religious liberty in this country doesnít create a right to impose those views on others, including ignoring civil rights laws or denying critical health care," Gay insists.

Director of Washington Legislative Office Laura Murphy insisted on NBC's Today Show this morning that individuals could still "practice their religion as they see fit," by not using birth control.

Hereís the problem with tat argument Ė the First Amendment doesnít say what the ACLU says it does. Hereís what the First Amendment does say.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now given that the rulemaking authority under which the Obama Regime is acting comes pursuant to a congressionally passed statute, the First Amendment applies here. And requiring that a religious organization act in a manner directly contrary to its religious teachings. In the case of the Catholic Church, its teachings are clear on birth control and sterilization Ė and abortion. Regarding abortion, the Catholic Church actually imposes the penalty of excommunication upon those who procure or directly participate in an abortion. Requiring that the Catholic institutions fund abortion therefore opens Catholics up to grave ecclesiastical penalties. Moreover, the new regulation creates the bizarre twist that Catholic hospitals may not be required to perform abortions or supply abortifacient contraceptives, but will be forced to fund them through their insurance plans.

Still, the absurd argument put forward by the ACLU here needs to be refuted. The ACLU seems to thinkt that if Catholic institutions are not forced to pay for the birth control, sterilization, and abortions of their employees that some substantive right is being violated. That is nonsensical Ė as nonsensical as arguing that a Jewish nursing home with a kosher kitchen failing to provide bacon and pork products to its non-Jewish employees is somehow an unlawful and illegitimate imposition of Judaism upon those employees.

The reality here is that the ACLU isnít concerned about the First Amendment here. It is instead concerned about the perpetual extension of the abortion culture in America. As a result, they are willing to see the federal government require that those with moral scruples against abortion be forced to burn a little incense at the altar of Margaret Sanger Ė or be crushed by the instruments of the state in the same way that the ancient Romans sought to crush the early Christian community for refusing to make such sacrifices at the altar of the emperors.





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