Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Fight for Liberty

We are witnessing, in the debate over the Obamacare mandate forcing religious organizations to subsidize medical procedures and medications that are against their religious principles, a battle for freedom and liberty itself.

Obama has frequently denounced the Constitution as a “Constitution of negative liberties.” That is, to say, no liberty for the government. The Constitution is all about limiting what the government can and cannot do. Article I, Section 8 enumerates the government’s powers, and Section 10 further lists what the states cannot do, that the federal government can. Mostly, Congress’ powers are limited to coining money, laying taxes, dealing with foreign governments, and maintaining the armed forces.

That’s it. The very First Amendment forbids the government from interfering with religion. The Liberals have used the Supreme Court to twist that meaning around to allow the government to absolutely interfere with First Amendment religious rights.

Judges around the country are increasingly interfering with First Amendment rights. Glenn Beck, on his program, cited a Texas judge who went so far as to install a federal marshall at a high school ceremony with orders to arrest any student who mentioned the name “Jesus.” Not only would the student serve a harsh sentence but they would wish they’d never been born.

The bars of bureaucracy are clanging down around us. On his program, Rush Limbaugh noted that it is against the law to throw a football or a Frisbee on any Los Angeles county beach. Volleyballs only. No doubt that’s because Frisbee tossing is an individualistic sport - someone throwing a Frisbee for their pooch. Football, of course, is team oriented but much too violent.

The government is taking liberties with our liberties, taking those liberties away from us and granting that freedom to themselves. The individual, consequently, feels increasingly isolated and powerless to do anything about it. We must then resort to their tactics, gathering into collectives, like the Tea Party, ourselves, in order to protect our freedom.

That is why, however, there is no national Tea Party, per se. The Tea Parties work on a community level, and occasionally a state level, but they are largely autonomous groups. They will consult with one another certainly, and sometimes combine efforts. But no Tea Party group tells another Tea Party group what they should do.

Some of us are the ultimate non-conformists and don’t join anything at all, or remain at the fringes, gladly attending the local Tea Party meetings, but carrying on the fight for freedom in our own, small way. We don’t like anyone telling us what to do. Still, most people are naturally social and friendly and gladly combine their talents and resources to form groups to defend freedom. In fact, they love it.

This Obama mandate is a serious problem that does, indeed, extend beyond the issue of birth control and abortion. This is a threat to our fundamental First Amendment religious rights. The government is putting itself above God and that is certainly not right. The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment not only protects our right to worship God but also protects our right not to be compelled to worship the government in His stead.

Conscientious objectors were everywhere during the Vietnam War. They fled to Canada to dodge the draft, ostensibly because they believed killing was immoral. Except, in seems, in the case of unborn babies. Now the Old Testament does speak of ‘crushing the abomination out of Israel,’ that is to say, a euphemism for aborting the illegitimate children of adulterous relationships. However, Jesus came along and fixed all that. To our modern ears, it sounds horrible when you put it that way. The draft dodgers happily stood by the biblical commandment that says, “Thou shalt not kill.”

Friends of the draft dodgers pressed for amnesty for their crime. Conscientious objectors to subsidizing abortions or birth control, or any other medical procedure which the government deems passable, such as euthanasia, may be fined and even face imprisonment. Meanwhile, Americans stand by passively, fearing to infringe upon the rights of wrathful women demanding the right to decide whether to abort their pregnancy.

Conservative pundits almost have it right when they say the issue is not about abortion or birth control, but about our First Amendment rights. Americans realize there is a difference between birth control and abortion, between right and wrong, and between First Amendment rights and reproductive rights. They know the difference between individualism and collectivism.

They just need to be reminded that when you force someone else to take on the financial obligations of your individual decision, you’ve crossed the line from individualism and collectivism, and have abrogated your right to bray about your individual liberty. You also lose your individual rights when you allow the collective to intimidate you into silence.

Speak up, America, while you still have the right to do so.


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