Four Decades Eroding the Foundation of Liberty

Terence P. Jeffrey | December 11, 2013 | 4:34am EST
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The Supreme Court over the past four decades has issued some decisions that not only defied the Constitution, but imposed changes on our society that go so far as to challenge fundamental principles of our civilization.

For example, our Founding Fathers believed all men are endowed by their creator with an inalienable right to life — a principle derived not only from natural law, but also from the commandment thou shall not kill.

In 1973, the court said that the 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War to ensure equal protection of the law to all people in the United States, protected the right of a woman to contract with a doctor to kill an unborn child.

Since then, tens of millions of unborn babies have been denied their right to life.

In 1986, in Bowers v. Hardwick, the Supreme Court turned back a challenge to the Georgia law that prohibited same-sex sodomy.

In a concurring opinion, Chief Justice Warren Burger made a telling point. "I join the court's opinion, but I write separately to underscore my view that, in constitutional terms, there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy," said Burger.

"As the court notes, the proscriptions against sodomy have very 'ancient roots,'" he said. "Decisions of individuals relating to homosexual conduct have been subject to state intervention throughout the history of Western civilization. Condemnation of those practices is firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards."

"To hold that the act of homosexual sodomy is somehow protected as a fundamental right would be to cast aside millennia of moral teaching," said Burger.

Seventeen years later, in the case of Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court did just that. It reversed Bowers and declared that same-sex sodomy was indeed a right.

This time, Justice Antonin Scalia, in dissent, pointed to the opinion the court had so recently issued in Bowers — and warned that declaring sodomy a right might be only the beginning.

"State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers' validation of laws based on moral choices," said Scalia. "Every single one of these laws is called into question by today's decision; the court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding."

Now, the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the Obama administration's appeal in the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby.

The question here: Can the administration force the Green family — who own Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, and Mardel, a chain of Christian bookstores — to act against their Christian faith?

Under Obamacare, the administration has issued a regulation that requires almost all health care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives. The latter includes both abortion-inducing drugs and intrauterine devices.

"The Green family's religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices," said the Green's original court complaint filed in 2012.

"The mandate illegally and unconstitutionally coerces the Green family to violate their deeply-held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines, penalties and lawsuits," said the Greens.

Our government has now taken this Christian family all the way to the Supreme Court. The administration is not arguing in court that its regulation does not force the Greens to act against their faith. The administration is arguing that the Greens lost their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion when they formed a corporation to conduct business.

Nonetheless, the administration is also intent on enforcing the same regulation on individual Americans — who own no corporation — but who believe the mandate to buy and provide insurance that covers abortifacients forces them to violate their moral or religious beliefs.

If the U.S. government can seize the power to force Christians to act against their consciences, what power can it be denied?
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