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Today, March 25th, the Supreme Court hears the Hobby Lobby case.
The question before the court is this:
If a law violates one’s religion, does one have to follow it? We have by fortuity and circumstance, brought ourselves so low to now ask of our court, to decide which of the two shall have predominance… Law or Religion.
If law wins, than religions must conform to the law; if religion wins, then to circumvent any law, one simply has to state it is against one’s religion.
There are good reasons for both sides, depending upon which predominates in your mind. If you think religion is above the government, then obviously you will think that as an individual, your government shall not make you do something your religion tells you is wrong…. Basically the law is compelling you to sin.
We’ve seen it before. Burkas: your religions dictates you wear them, and the law says you can’t for safety reasons… Withholding medical care for a child, your religion tells you to put faith into divine intervention, and when that turns out badly, the state sends you away for murder. Vaccinations. your religion tells you no, but the government says yes…..
In all those cases religion lost; here is why.
There were other people affected. Religion is a deep personal internal experience. and the law generally upholds that one has the right to adhere to doctrines if one wishes…. AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT HARM SOMEONE ELSE. The canon of law is very clear, that hurting other people, cannot be excused on the account of ones religions… The Burka ban is to protect from human bombs. The courts have said that if safety in a crowd is an issue for many other people, then the law can be changed to violate the harm-giver’s religion. The potential for harm controls the dynamics of the case.
Likewise the dead child not receiving medical care can be a very moving religious experience, but the child died. He obviously was harmed ant therefore the law trumps religion. The potential for harm controls the dynamics of the case.
Again the same is true over withholding vaccinations. Not being vaccinated creates a possible host-carrier for the disease sometime in the future… It is not just the subject at risk for failing to become vaccinated. Everyone else is susceptible to that carried organism. The potential for harm to many controls the dynamics of the case.
So we turn to birth control. One of which is abortion. Who could possibly be harmed over not insuring contraception? Is it really as cut and dried as Rush Limbaugh speaks, when he says it is all about him paying for Sandra Fluke to have sex? He’s paying and it isn’t even with him? Tant pis.
Prophylactics. Who gets harmed? That one is easy. Every person who picks up HIV for one. For two, gonorrhea and syphilis. For three, someone getting the herpes virus. Harm is endemic. And like vaccinations, harm can be unsuspectingly spread to others. Lack of free contraception could cause multiple spouses irreparable harm through no fault or wrongdoing of their own. Everyone has the right to intercourse, just as everyone has a right to their own Roth-IRA. But not everyone has an Roth-IRA now, do they? Many can’t afford it and so do without. Same with contraception. Therefore not funding free prophylactics causes irreparable harm to innocent people….
Chemicals, birth control pills and RU-486. Who gets harmed if these are unavailable? That one is easy. The future baby (def: humanness does not or will ever start until birth), the mother, the father, the grandparents, the great grandparents, the physician, society in general, future taxpayers… Quite a few harmed souls actually…. Withholding these birth control items is exactly on par with withholding antibiotics to a child dying from blood poisoning. Just as the child is suffering needlessly through no fault on its own, so is the pregnant woman suffering as is her child, though no fault of their own. Normally she would have gotten free contraception. But no, religion stepped in and now that is impossible.
Third is performed abortion. This is an emotional topic, that some equate with murder. The courts have flatly said it is not. Life begins at birth, always has, always will. Therefore performed abortions are perfectly legal, even though some people may not agree. And here the law is clear. They have the right to decide for themselves and not agree if they so choose, but they do not have any right to decide for others. No one does. That is embedded in the foundation of our founding documents…. That is the definition of freedom. One cannot say they for freedom and yet rail against choice. That is a scientific impossibility. Obviously what those well meaning people are trying to express is that they are all for freedom when it applies to them, but certainly not when it applies to others who have a different value system from them. Enforcing the right to free abortions, is like allowing burkas to be worn without restriction, fully knowing that suicide bombers are rampant in the crowds around you… Banning abortions for certain women, is the equivalent to telling the Israeli population, ” oh, sorry; no protection for you; you have to die if someone sets off a bomb, because you see, burkas are so sacred, we aren’t going to violate one of our tiny minority’s religious beliefs. If someone smuggles a bomb in under one, sigh, oh well.
If you are sharp about your wits, you picked up the clue I left you in the paragraph above. Right up there where I said..”they do not have any right to decide for others”….. Probably Conservatives will pick it up faster than contraception supporters. “Wait a minute” they will say, “see, that is exactly what you are doing to us by making us pay for contraception when we don’t want to cough up the money for it. You are deciding for us, what we have to do…”
And that is exactly right…. We are.
If you remember up at the top of this piece of writing where I stated this case was to decide the supremacy of law versus religion? Well that is the caveat. In religious circles we are deciding what one needs to do. We are saying that contraception will be available to everyone through their insurance free of charge…. In the legal realm that is the law. You can choose to follow it or not. If not, then beware of consequences. Why just today, I saw a Toyota that by my guess, chose not to follow the posted speed limit. He didn’t look too happy either…. We make decisions every day on whether to follow a law or not, and we choose to what degree we wish to comply… Some of us, unluckily, will pay a price…. But though angry, we really have no right to bring in religion…. Because it is a non-religious law….
In the religious world, we are however making a person (although admittedly in an extremely indirect and via a convoluted pathway, be associated with something he doesn’t wish… However, that is not a problem of our governmental courts. Religious issues are not in the bailiwick of the Supreme Court. It decides issues of law and order, and is forbidden on deciding on religion. Instead, religious issues need to be decided by a denominational or religious court if their denomination should happen to have them… If not, they should then be decided by that religion’s Inquisition or equivalent…. Then through whatever authority those courts have, they need to exercise their options of enforcing those religious edicts in ways that do not run up against the laws of the land…
A second issue is whether information or facts on file inside a Delaware Courthouse is also a real person. Are Corporations people too, as Romney once said? That is preposterous to even consider, but alas, so it will be one of the hinges on which this outcome depends. The sole point of this case is that a corporation (Hobby Lobby) is so sad, it’s heartbroken that it will have to pay for contraception for its employees, it cries every night and has insomnia. It can’t urinate correctly and has irregular bowel movements. As a result, this corporation is now suffering from malnutrition, and dehydration. Quite possibly, through all the duress and stress, this corporation has also suffered brain damage, causing its malignant depression. It might even have cancer….
If a corporation is not a person, then this case is simply dismissed. Corporations are subservient to human beings and therefore must confirm to the laws of the land in which they may find themselves. But if a corporation IS a person, then we have a battle over which person suffers the most, if free birth control is abandoned…. or…. no longer free…
If a corporation IS deemed to be a person… the next question for discussion, is when does that person-hood begin…. Did it start when it is born,upon the signing of its documents? Or, has it existed as a corporation ever since its idea was first conceived?
As you all know, there are several Supreme Court decisions due this term regarding the ability of corporations or personal businesses to express their religiosity in defiance of the law of the land. One is Hobby Lobby which thinks it should not be required to practice something that is against their religion. The second is today’s “stay” on whether Catholic Organizations have to dispense something their religion completely disavows; birth control.
On one hand we will hear the drums of how religion is being imposed upon by the government. On the other hand we will hear how those employed by these employers, have the right to choice just as do their bosses….
Let us look at the first plank: how religion is being imposed upon by the government. As is been oft repeated, the Constitution as originally written said rather little about the right to religion. However, it IS in the Bill of Rights, which because they were a necessary addition added to get the Constitution garnering enough votes, one can loosely say, the original Constitution deals with religion…
And as is oft repeated with every controversy, the First Amendment states as follows: 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.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. This means that Congress cannot say: “This year’s official religion will be Pentecostal. All other religions are hereby abolished”. This may sound far fetched to us, but was a real factor in the daily lives of the colonists before the nation was forged. Quakers were ostracized by Episcopalians. Catholics were beset with punitive laws except in Maryland. If you needed to go before the state or county courthouse, you had to be of that area’s official religion, before you could get heard… True, dat.
The second part, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; is where the argument will be directed. Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor, both have similar arguments which are as follows.
“WE don’t believe sex should be had for enjoyment. Our religion is anti-sex. If we have to dispense or are required to pay for people to commit sex without the consequence of pregnancy or a viral AIDS infection, we are having our free exercise of religion being prohibited….”
More clearly put: our religion demands that we prohibit sex for enjoyment wherever it “pops” up. If you stop us from prohibiting enjoyable sex, you are interfering with our religion.
In the matter of text, they have a point. If their religion does indeed demand that they stop everyone from having enjoyable sex, then the government in stepping in to stop them from stopping some amazing sex, is depriving them of their religious rights. So we should conceive that they have a textual point….. Before the Obamacare, religion was not impinged. Now it is.
The next step is to see if that point is relevant with the norms of today’s society. As an extreme case, allowing a quirky religious sect to burn their babies alive because “it is called for by their religion” would be a case where the harm done to a citizen of the United States of America against their will, would outweigh in society’s eyes the harm being done to the religiosity of those practicing such a barbarity. Burning witches at a stake would suffice as an example as well.
There is obvious a gray area then where government must trample on religion and religion finds it must interfere with government.
We can use the extreme case above of burning witches. One could say that happened in Delaware in 2010. (lol. Our witch got burned bad.) Here we have a case where one religion (the witch burning one) interferes with the other religion (the witch one). When you have two opposite religions, the government has to look at other laws other than religion to determine policy. In this case, murder. Correct?
So the correct assessment is that since both religious issues cancel each other out, then the factor of murder by default becomes the deciding one. The witch-burning religion is in the wrong by existing laws on the books (murder) and therefore it must stop its practice. Was it’s bizarre form of religion impinged upon by government? Absolutely. And for good reason; it was murder.
So we now have precedence of government making necessary impositions upon any religious practices that harm society. Yet there is still no imposition upon ones beliefs. You can still “believe” that burning witches is your goal in life, but you just can’t carry it out. It hurts other people.
So the defense of the law by the government must not focus on the rights of these religious petitioners. but should solely focus on that harm which if allowed to go forward, that religion will impinge upon all those millions of people who are not in either sect, and who will suffer at the hands of any court decision favoring either sect’s quixotic religious preferences.
They have First Amendment rights too…. such as in having our Government abridging the freedom of speech…
The courts have long upheld that “expression” was the founding father’s meaning of “speech”. Porn doesn’t move it’s lips but is a form of expression protected by the Supreme Court. Just like that Pat Robertson of the 700 Club doesn’t move his lips, but is also considered a form of expression protected by the Supreme Court. Art is expression. Music is expression. Love is expression…
Likewise there are reasonable limits to the right to expression, again, determined by society’s norms. Going nude in a public school is not good. There are reasons that is against the law. Playing music too loud on Newark’s Main Street is not good. There are reasons that is against the law. Graffiti in the Bank of America building, not good. There are reasons that would be against the law.
So the argument made before the court will be two fold; what is harmful or non harmful to each side, and what society’s norms will dictate, whether one or another is extreme when compared to the norm of society….
Therefore this becomes a moral question, not one of logic. After all, both sides think logic is on their side. And I think all will boil down to something said by the last Pope, Pope Benedict….
He stated something along the lines, “that people have to eat; and to eat, they have to work.” If work is abundant, perhaps one can leave one employer and go to another which they prefer. But if work is scarce, they are bound to hang on to that job no matter what external factors line up to batter them. If there is one job in town, and the boss halves the wages, one has to accept it. If there is one job in town, and the boss demands sexual favors for one to keep it, one has to acquiesce because there is no other alternative.
So for every religious nun or Hobby Lobby business owner who wishes to buck the current law, there are those countless employees working for them who will get hurt if their employer gets any exception to the current law simply because their religion states “it” is against all enjoyable sex.
Those employees working for these bosses, can’t have enjoyable sex because of the religiosity of their employers…. ” I’m sorry Hon, but because I work for Hobby Lobby, we can’t do it for another 15 days… Just hold it inside, will you?”
Their expression, in the privacy of their home, is impinged… While yet…the religious owners expression in the privacy of THEIR homes, is not affected by one bit…
Since one side is negatively affected in private by the consequences of not having contraception reimbursed, and the other side is not, it seems imperative that a thoughtful, logical, non-judgmental court, would decide to protect those who are hurt, at the expense of those who are doing the hurting….
Remember: it is still the insurance companies who are paying for all these sexual items; not the employers themselves; there is no harm to the employers if this policy goes forward. They are not in anyway contributing any harm to themselves. Just like if they burned witches….
Those they are affecting, do get harmed…. Not being allowed to enjoy sex because of your luck at being hired by one employer over another, surely trumps whether that employer feels slightly “miffed” that he is required to insure his employees and that insurance will allow them to enjoy the wonders of sex without getting pregnant or getting viral AIDS.
AIDS kills, like being burned at the stake. Being allowed to stand around the fire going “tsk, tsk” should not become our nation’s definition of what “religion” is all about……
There is no way there was an altercation. There is no way Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman.
Dr. Shiping Bao, the Volusia County medical examiner who was in charge of handling slain-teenager Trayvon Martin’s body in February 2012, has come out and claimed that, despite Zimmerman’s statements regarding their altercation, there was no feasible way for Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when the gun was fired because the bullet entered Martin’s back. ….
One must be initially skeptical because this new revelation, is being made by one subsequently fired from his position who is now threatening to sue the state of Florida for $100 million dollars.
But, if anyone knows white supremacists, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence going in this direction.
One, the assistant medical examiner is not white. He is Asian. A minority himself. It reminds one of those films where a black child witnesses a lynching and then is told, “boy, you tell no one about this, you hear?” and out of fear, willingly obliges….
The claim this medical examiner is making is that when he questioned why the “official version” was not related to the placement of the gunshot wound, he was told to ” zip his lips. ‘Shut up. Don’t say those things.”
Since this message was released by Mr. Bao’s attorney, and specifically to a sympathetic ear with a well read reading base, one may have reasonable doubts as to their validity.
Two, recent activities by Zimmerman himself, now that his handlers have all packed their bags and departed, has given far more credibility to him having a persona who would have lovingly shot Trayvon simply to paraphrase Johnny Cash, “watch him die.” His ex-spouse has been quoted (and retracted) as having Zimmerman state as he waved his gun in front of her and her dad, that “he’d take care of both of them just like he did Trayvon”... Unfortunately the proof is in a busted up phone in police protection and may never be recovered. The original police chief who knew Zimmerman, has been quoted saying “Zimmerman was a nut case”.
Three. What was on trial for Floridians and their sponsors ALEC, was the unconstitutional gun law. The trial needed Zimmerman to be innocent, in order to keep constitutional challenges of that law at bay. They are at bay, now, as you read this.
Bao claims that the prosecution never actually asked him the questions that were crucial to the success in the case, and that he changed his opinion after repeatedly being warned… from the time he initially examined Martin and the time he was on the stand. Bao and his attorney say they believe he was fired for questioning the way the case was handled, and possibly for not going long with the desired narrative.
Bao was “supposed” to follow the prosecution’s line that Trayvon was “doped up like a Jamacian” on marijuana, but instead told the truth that the minimal amount in Trayvon’s body, would in no way impair his judgment.
Before one dismisses this accusation out of hand, one must wonder. Why has it not been disproven already? A exhumation would easily prove Bao to be a liar, or instead a whistle blower. Surely there are the police photos from the coroner’s office, or crime scene, showing a shot into the front cavity of Mr. Martin, or his back, completely unscathed..
This accusation, if it was not true, would have already been completely shot down days ago. But it hasn’t… Why not? Are there no pictures of Trayvon Martin dispelling this notion?
If not, then why of all cases where routine pictures are always taken, is this case, which since it’s beginning has been under suspicion of miscarrying of justice, had its pictures been lost, … or stolen?
And that, is where we are.
All evidence now, after the trial, certainly point to Zimmerman executing Trayvon Martin while he was on his knees, back towards him, most likely begging for his life, and a) because blacks in hoodies cannot be right in that Southern Community, and b) because legitimacy of the Stand Your Ground Law was under attack, … bigger interests than either of these two people, had to insure that all stereotypes played out as they are supposed to in storybook little Florida towns….
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
What the NRA is proposing: that every man become his own enforcer of his own view of “constitutionality” by having his own masses of whatever firepower he so chooses, … is the exact opposite of being well regulated. As we see with every new report of shootings, it promotes anarchy.
If we assume that a civilian population is required to keep arms to protect itself from tyranny, then by the words of the Constitution itself,… we have to regulate those very arms…
We can regulate them by banning assault rifles. We can regulate them by banning high capacity clips. We can regulate them by registering every firearm to a single owner, and holding that single owner accountable for whatever accident befalls that gun. We can regulate them by requiring insurance, and if there are those who refuse to abide by the constitutional regulations, we can incarcerate them and be done with them.
The Constitution allows for firearms, only IF THEY ARE WELL REGULATED….
So, in order to validate the Constitution, let’s regulate all firearms….. Failure to do so, is a violation of the Founding Father’s own principles, and is unconstitutional….
It says so right there in the Second Amendment. Care to read it?
Mitt Romney just put all conservatives in the dust, and took an aggressive stance on abortion that will put President Obama on the defensive. Mitt Romney is for abortion. No if’s…. No and’s…. and no but’s….. The most telling line is:
I have felt this way since the time my mom took that position in the seventies when she ran for Senate.
This makes the Morman Mitt Romney far more liberal on abortion than President Obama since Barack Obama has qualms about third term abortions, yet Mitt Romney’s mother insisted that right must be part of the overall right of women determined by Roe vrs. Wade.
This shocker has Progressives extremely worried that most women will now vote for Romney, instead of Obama. Sarah Palin already announced that was her intention. No comment from Michelle Bachmann has been forthcoming.
With Romney shifting positions, if you the voter, only vote for those who promise to repeal Roe vrs. Wade, then you might as well stay home. There is no presidential candidate now who is against abortion. Every candidate for president thinks abortion should remain legal, as well as do 100% of the American people.
If you have qualms, then Obama is your candidate. He is the most conservative.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
380 U.S. 51
Argued November 19, 1964
Decided March 1, 1965
MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.
“First, once the censor disapproves the film, the exhibitor must assume  the burden of instituting judicial proceedings and of persuading the courts that the film is protected expression. Second, once the Board has acted against a film, exhibition is prohibited pending judicial review, however protracted. Under the statute, appellant could have been convicted if he had shown the film after unsuccessfully seeking a license, even though no court had ever ruled on the obscenity of the film. Third, it is abundantly clear that the Maryland statute provides no assurance of prompt judicial determination. We hold, therefore, that appellant’s conviction must be reversed. The Maryland scheme fails to provide adequate safeguards against undue inhibition of protected expression, and this renders the § 2 requirement of prior submission of films to the Board an invalid previous restraint.
But a model is not lacking: In Kingsley Books, Inc. v. Brown, 354 U.S. 436, we upheld a New York injunctive procedure designed to prevent the sale of obscene books. That procedure postpones any restraint against sale until a judicial determination of obscenity following notice and an adversary hearing. The statute provides for a hearing one day after joinder of issue; the judge must hand down his decision within two days after termination of the hearing.
Justice Black tags onto the end with this comment.
“For the reasons there stated, I do not believe any form of censorship–no matter how speedy or prolonged it may be–is permissible. As I see it, a pictorial presentation occupies as preferred a position as any other form of expression. If censors are banned from the publishing business, from the pulpit, from the public platform–as they are–they should be banned from the theatre.”
To that we add… the Internet.
Censoring anything (the Internet) before having a hearing in which the person being censored is present and has been given the opportunity to argue his case before the court into why his first Amendment right should not be suppressed, …. hereby violates the First Amendment of the Constitution and is therefore unconstitutional.
SOPA effectively allows the state to remove a person’s right to free speech, without his side being aired at a hearing.
The recession has popped a lot of dreams… It has forced a re-evaluation of priorities. It has put reality in the forefront.
So wiping off the table of everything, everything, and sitting down to a blank space, and asking myself, … what do I want, by the time I die.
A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement,”
After watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” you can be sure it can’t happen on a Republican’s watch….. For that dream to happen, we need protection from corporations and Big Money; not giving them more and more of what we make.
We need more money funneled away from big business, to be reinvested into the Middle Class… Since they haven’t done it voluntarily, we’ll have to force it.
Republicans can’t force anyone to do anything. They are putz’s. It will take a government of all Democrats to make Americans who die, at least die happy that they were able to secure:
“A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement”.
This story is making it’s way up the charts… It is about the perils of navigating the private insurance labyrinth, being kicked out, and finding salvation in what?…… A government run Health Care Program.
Bottom line… Private Insurance ain’t what it was under Clinton’s 1990′s… If you haven’t gotten sick lately, then talking smack about Governmental Healthcare, makes you a stupid-ass hypocrite.