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February 16, 2012

All Liberty, Not 'Just' Religious Liberty, At Risk from Obama's HHS Mandate

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Over at the twelve23 site, Quinn Hillyer explores the more far-reaching ramifications of the Obama contraception/abortifacient mandate:

[T]he HHS regulations don't merely affect Catholic practices related to contraception. Instead, they would allow the government to interfere almost at will with any economic- or health-related policies of any denomination or religion.

Orthodox Jewish charities conceivably could be forced to do work on the Sabbath. Amish could be required to use electricity to comply with rules promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Or, if liberal cultural warriors have their way in the long run on "medical marijuana" or "compassionate assisted suicide,"regulations could force Baptist hospitals to provide those services as well.

It's not that these scenarios are likely; it's that, under the legal theories being assumed by the administration, there would no longer be any constitutional barrier to such policy choices. Alas, as plenty of experience shows, that which the federal government is not forbidden to do usually ends up, in the long run, being a power the government actually exercises.

To paraphrase an old saying, "First they abused the rights of Catholics, but I wasn't Catholic, so I didn't object. Then they abused the rights of Confucians, but again I didn't object.... When they finally attacked my rights, I was a goner, because nobody else remained to defend me."

So, clearly, religious freedom is at risk. This is both a moral affront and a constitutional affront, because the First Amendment was explicitly designed to protect what Thomas Jefferson and James Madison called "liberty of conscience. ... "

Read the whole thing here.

As Hillyer goes on to point out, the administration's decision on this subject should be a call to arms for all who care for freedom, because it is a direct threat to all we hold dear.

Posted by Hyscience at February 16, 2012 12:44 PM

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