ARRA News Service
News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
    Home Page
   

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Backwell On Religous Liberty

The following remarks we made by the Honorable Ken Blackwell To the American Religious Freedom Program Conference.

By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Good afternoon. It is good to be with so many like-minded men and women, people who are committed to defending our most essential freedom -- religious liberty.

We tend naturally to focus on religious freedom issues that rise to the national level. Those cases that come before the Supreme Court rank high in public interest and command the attention of the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other giants of the main-stream media.

One of the most unprecedented and ominous assaults on religious freedom is the proposed Health and Human Services contraception mandate. As I have written in a variety of opinion pieces, there has been nothing comparable to this in 225 years in this country. There is truly no precedent for the threat embodied in the HHS Mandate.

If the federal government can force not only Catholic institutions, but those of many other faith communities, and small businesses, and family-owned firms to provide drugs that can cause abortions or chemical contraceptives that violate their beliefs, then the First Amendment to the Constitution has effectively been repealed.

Late in the 19th Century, Germany's Chancellor Bismarck waged an assault against Catholics. The Prime Minister intended to close down Catholic schools and hospitals, convents and monasteries throughout the country. We're not there yet; but we must be vigilant.

Approximately one in six hospital patients in America is cared for in Catholic hospitals. These hospitals employ more than 550,000 full-time workers and 240,000 part-timers.

One thing needs to be emphasized here: Many of those employees and many of the millions of patients seen in those hospitals choose Catholic health care because it is grounded in a set of moral convictions. This is true even, and perhaps especially, for non-Catholics who seek care or who work in these Catholic institutions.

My Family Research Council colleague, Bob Morrison, a Lutheran, has twin granddaughters who were delivered at a Catholic hospital last December. When these newborns came down with the life-threatening RSV virus over Christmas, Bob was relieved that the twins were cared for in a Catholic institution. There, he could trust the care-givers and the administrators to share his family's pro-life convictions and practice them in the way they treated his grandchildren.

Even when it is a specifically Catholic institution being threatened, the religious liberties of all Americans are in jeopardy. If Catholic hospitals are forced to choose between God and Caesar, bureaucrats will eventually compel other religious organizations and faith-based ministries to make an identical choice.

And ironically, even though Obamacare is intended to help the uninsured, it's those of lower income who will suffer most as Catholic hospitals and religious colleges suspend health insurance altogether.

This present danger notwithstanding, our experience suggests that most threats to religious freedom have come at the state and local levels. One of the most blatant examples was the case of Oregon in the 1920s. There, a popular referendum‚ strongly backed by the Ku Klux Klan‚ outlawed private education. Only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional in the case of Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925) was this threat blocked. It was in this case that the Court memorably said: "The child is not the mere creature of the state."

Then there were the Blaine Amendments, named for James Gillespie Blaine‚ the powerful Republican who sought to ban any public funds from aiding -- even indirectly -- what were then called "sectarian" institutions.

Though the Blaine Amendment, a vestige of the Know-Nothing movement of the 1800's, was never passed at the federal level, similar legislation was enacted and is even today still on the books in many state constitutions. They were put in state constitutions to stop families from educating their children in Catholic schools (instead of public schools). Now, they have become a wall between private faith and the public square.

The Blaine Amendments, on record in 40 jurisdictions, constitute a serious barrier to education reform and parental choice.

The Becket Fund, a non-profit that protects the free expression of all faiths, is litigating a case in Oklahoma. There a family seeks to use a state scholarship to send their autistic son to a religious school for special needs children.

In Indiana, the state teachers union, predictably, is leading the charge to prevent parents from using vouchers at religious schools. The union claims these parents are violating the Indiana Blaine Amendment.

In Florida, voters will have the chance this November to repeal that state's Blaine Amendment. Local family policy councils, state and national public interest law firms, and citizen-activists have worked tirelessly to bring this policy change to the ballot.

The government not only threatens religious liberty in our education, it also threatens through supposed discrimination laws. We have the case of a Michigan public university grad student, Julea Ward. Because of her religious convictions, she asked to refer a homosexual client to another counselor. She was then ordered to go through "remediation." Ms. Ward refused and was expelled. A host of religious liberty defenders, most notably the Alliance Defense Fund, are standing with her.

We have seen Catholic Charities forced out of adoptions in Massachusetts and Illinois because they will not place children in same-sex or unmarried households. In Washington, D.C., this so-called "non-discrimination policy" was used by the City Council to achieve the ends of anti-Catholicism. Told by the Archdiocese that they might be forcing Catholic Charities out of adoptions in the nation' capital, one councilman said, and I quote:

"Good. We've been trying to get you out of it forever. And, besides, we are paying you to do it. So, get out!" (Interview by James Taranto, Wall Street Journal, 31 March 2012)

Conscience Protection Laws are vitally needed. Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas recently signed a strong one. But many state laws are weak or unenforced. In Washington State, for example, Gov. Christine Gregoire pressured a pharmacy owned and operated by two sisters who refused to dispense the so-called morning after pill. This drug can cause abortions. The Governor personally joined in a boycott of this family-owned pharmacy. So much for the war on women.

It is amazing how quickly this storm has arisen. In 2008, at the end of the Bush administration, our colleague then-Secretary Mike Leavitt issued conscience regulations on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services. These were good conscience regulations -- protecting doctors and hospitals from being forced to practice medicine that they found morally objectionable. Immediately upon coming into office, the Obama administration revoked the regulations.

With the HHS Mandate, the gloves have come off. The carve-out for religious institutions is so narrow, so restricted, that it is hard to imagine even cloistered nuns qualifying for a religious exemption.

Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Carl Anderson questions whether Jesus' own ministry would qualify for an exemption from the HHS Mandate. Was His work wholly religious? Or was He engaged in the food service industry with those loaves and fishes?

There's a scene in a famous movie I recommend watching over again. In A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More is facing execution for standing by his conscience in a time of agitation.

More tells his prosecutors: "I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live."

Thank God, we have not gotten to that point.

But our task is to make sure we never get to that point. We cannot allow these salami tactics -- this divide-and-conquer strategy -- to succeed. If the HHS can that we subsidize abortion-causing drugs now, what is to stop them from mandating our support for surgical abortions next year?

So we are not being alarmist when we take alarm. James Madison knew something of liberty: "The people are right," Madison said, "to take alarm at the first advance on their liberties."

The battle is raging in Washington, without question. But the key battle-front of this fight is in your state -- at your local hospital, or adoption agency. Are you up for the challenge?
---------------
J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He is the co-author of the new bestseller: The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. He is a National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, religious freedom, religious liberty, First Amendment, U.S. Constitution, Conscience Protection Laws, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:40 PM - Post Link

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home


View U.S. National Debt

Don't miss anything!
Subscribe to the
ARRA News Service
It's FREE & No Ads!

You will receive a verification email
& must validate you subscribed!

You Then Receive One Email Each AM
With Prior Days Articles / Toons / More


Also, Join us at:
Facebook.com/ARRANewsService


Recent Posts:
Personal Tweets by the editor:
Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru - @arra
#Christian Conservative; Retired USAF & Grad Professor. Constitution NRA ProLife schoolchoice fairtax - Editor ARRA NEWS SERVICE. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING!

Action Links!
State Upper & Lower House Members
State Attorney Generals
State Governors
The White House
US House of Representatives
US Senators
GrassFire
NumbersUSA
Ballotpedia

Facebook Accts - Dr. Bill Smith
Pages:
ARRA News Service
Arkansans Against Big Government
Alley-White Am. Legion #52
Catholics & Protestants United Against Discrimination
End Taxpayer Funding of NPR
Overturn Roe V. Wade
Prolife Soldiers
Project Wildfire 4 Life
Republican Liberty Caucus of Arkansas
The Gold Standard
US Atty Gen Loretta Lynch, aka Eric Holder, Must Go
Veterans for Sarah Palin
Why Vote for Hillary (Satire)
FB Groups:
Arkansas For Sarah Palin
Arkansas Conservative Caucus
Arkansas County Tea Party
Arkansans' Discussion Group on National Issues
Blogs for Borders
Conservative Solutions
Conservative Voices
Defend Marriage -- Arkansas
FairTax
FairTax Nation
Arkansas for FairTax
Friends of the TEA Party in Arkansas
Freedom Roundtable
Pro-Life Rocks - Arkansas
Republican Network
Republican Liberty Caucus of AR
Reject the U.N.

Patriots
Exchange
Links

Request Via
Article Comment

Links to ARRA News
A Patriotic Nurse
Agora Associates
a12iggymom's Blog
America, You Asked For It!
Americans for a Free Republic
America's Best Choice
ARRA News Twitter
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Blogs For Borders
Blogs for Palin
Blow the Trumpet Ministry
Boot Berryism
Cap'n Bob & the Damsel
Chicago Ray Report
Chuck Baldwin - links
Common Cents
Conservative Voices
Defeat Obama's Agenda
Diana's Corner
Greater Fitchburg For Life
Lasting Liberty Blog
Liberal Isn't Amy
Maggie's Notebook
Marathon Pundit
Patriot's Corner
Right on Issues that Matter
Right Reason
Rocking on the Right Side
Saber Point
Saline Watchdog
Secure Arkansas
Sultan Knish
The Blue Eye View
The Born Again Americans
TEA Party Cartoons
The Foxhole | Unapologetic Patriot
The Liberty Republican
The Lid
The Maritime Sentry
The O Word
The Path to Tyranny Blog
The Real Polichick
The War on Guns
TOTUS
Twitter @ARRA
Underground Notes
Warning Signs
Women's Prayer & Action
WyBlog

Editor's Managed Twitter Accounts
Twitter Dr. Bill Smith @arra
Twitter Arkansas @GOPNetwork
Twitter @BootBerryism
Twitter @SovereignAllies
Twitter @FairTaxNation

Editor's Recommended Orgs
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
American Action Forum (AAF)
American Committment
American Culture & Faith Institute
American Enterprise Institute
American Family Business Institute
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
American Security Council Fdn
AR Faith & Ethics Council
Arkansas Policy Foundation
Ayn Rand Institute
Bill of Rights Institute
Campaign for Working Families
CATO Institute
Center for Individual Freedom
Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Just Society
Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Citizens Against Gov't Waste
Citizens in Charge Foundstion
Coalition for the Future American Worker
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Concerned Veterans for America
Concerned Women for America
Declaration of Am. Renewal
Eagle Forum
FairTax
Family Research Council
Family Security Matters
Franklin Center for Gov't & Public Integrity
Freedom Works
Gingrich Productions
Global Incident Map
Great Americans
Gold Standard 2012 Project
Gun Owners of America (GOA)
Heritage Action for America
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Institute For Justice
Institute for Truth in Accounting
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Judicial Watch
Less Government
Media Reseach Center
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Right To Work Foundation
National Rifle Association (NRA)
National Rifle Association (NRA-ILA)
News Busters
O'Bluejacket's Patriotic Flicks
OathKeepers
Open Secrets
Presidential Prayer Team
Religious Freedom Coalition
Renew America
Ron Paul Institute
State Policy Network
Tax Foundation
Tax Policy Center
The Club for Growth
The Federalist
The Gold Standard Now
The Heritage Foundation
The Leadership Institute
Truth in Accounting
Union Facts



Blogs For Borders

Reject the United Nations

Adopt Our Troops in Prayer


Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11


FairTax Nation on FaceBook
Friends of Israel - Stand with Israel
Blog Feeds
Syndicated - Get the ARRA News Service feed Syndicated!
ARRA Blog Feed

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Add to The Free Dictionary

Powered by Blogger


  • To Exchange Links - Email: editor@arranewsservice.com!
  • Comments by contributing authors or other sources do not necessarily reflect the position the editor, other contributing authors, sources, readers, or commenters. No contributors, or editors are paid for articles, images, cartoons, etc. While having reported on and promoting beliefs associated with the former Arkansas Republican Assemblies (ARRA), this blog/site is controlled and supported by the editor. This site/blog does not advertise for money or services nor does it solicit funding for its support.
  • Fair Use: This site/blog may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material as provided for in section Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Per said section, the material on this site/blog is distributed without profit to readers to view for the expressed purpose of viewing the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. Any person/entity seeking to use copyrighted material shared on this site/blog for purposes that go beyond "fair use," must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
  • © 2006 - 2018 ARRA News Service
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.