There is an utter disconnect between what I hear other people – mostly in the media – say about evangelical conservatives, and what I’ve experienced living in and among them for nearly three decades on this planet. I hear how intolerant and close-minded this group supposedly is, and I sit and absorb such attacks with a blank look on my face. They bear no resemblance to the environment I was reared in.
Over at The Claremont Institute, Hadley Arkes considers whether religious freedom is a “natural right.” His exploration of the question is lengthy and complex and, as with everything Prof. Arkes writes, worthy of serious consideration. Here is his conclusion:
The Obama Administration’s requirement for many religious institutions to provide contraception may be a relatively new policy. But as Notre Dame political scientist Patrick Deneen explains, the “origin of the mandate lies in an impulse that can be dated back to the beginnings of the modern era and the rise of the state.”
Current lawsuits against the HHS contraceptive mandate may undermine religious liberty in the long run, says Vincent Phillip Munoz. Not all religious objectors to the mandate are likely to be exempted even if the lawsuits are successful, and judges violate the core meaning of religious liberty when they assess plaintiffs’ religious character:
West Michigan businessman, John Kennedy, has joined over 90 plaintiffs in filing suit against the federal government in its attempts to force business owners and employers to pay for procedures and medications that violate religious beliefs. Kennedy joins other business owners, such as Hobby Lobby CEO David Green who says “God owns” his business.
You might get goose bumps watching this fiery speech by Fr. Andrew Kemberling. After all, it is not every day we hear a wholesale condemnation socialism from a priest on the “pulpit” of a conservative political rally!
This vociferous pastor from St. Thomas More parish in Centennial, Colo., delivered an impassioned address last May. It may be old news, but the video has gained enormous popularity and even gone viral (over 1.3 million views) just one month before the U.S. presidential elections.
As the free market vs. socialism politicking are growing to a climax, surely more Christian believers like Fr. Kemberling are declaring they too have “earned a free pass” to engage in this heated debate to express their strong convictions against centrally planned, godless political regimes. Read more on Video: Colorado Priest Condemns Socialism at GOP Assembly…
In a model of Orwellian doublespeak, the New York Timespublished an editorial yesterday defending the ridiculous decision by U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson to dismiss the lawsuit filed earlier this year by Frank O’Brien and his O’Brien Industrial Holdings LLC. O’Brien had challenged the requirement that businesses offer employees contraception coverage through health care insurance, claiming it unconstitutionally violated his religious beliefs and the Catholic philosophy he applied in running his business.
Louisiana College, a Baptist school in Pineville, La., is the most recent institution to file a lawsuit over the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. Kathryn Jean Lopez interviewed the the school’s president, Joe Aguillard, about the decision to sue the government:
As the federal government becomes ever more willing to use taxpayer dollars to fund activites that violate the conscience of its citizens, we’re increasingly faced with the question of whether we should refuse to pay those taxes. Theologian R.C. Sproul Jr. says the Christian answer is clear:
The Obama administration’s controversial contraception-abortifacient mandate goes into effect yesterday, creating a difficult choice for pro-life business owners. If employers don’t change their plans, they will be hit with fines of up to $100 per employee per day. But if they stop providing health coverage, employers with more than 50 employees could be hit with an alternative fine of $2,000 per employee per year.