Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Religious Liberty

                Freedom of Religion is being attacked on several sides.  Hilary Clinton, Democrat presidential candidate, gave the keynote address at the 2015 Women in the World Summit in New York City last week.  She stated that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” in order for women to have access to “reproductive health care.” 

                “Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe child birth.  All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced.  Rights have to exist in practice not just paper.” 

                Clinton added, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will.  And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

                Glenn Beck said that Clinton “has gone further than any politician I’ve ever heard in my lifetime.  And as usual, there is so little coverage of it except here.  I’m actually not sure how many people know of it.  And if the American people know about it, I don’t ever know if they care anymore.”

                Another attack on Freedom of Religion could come if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage.  Religious schools that teach marriage is the union of one man and one woman could lose their non-profit tax-exempt status if the Court changes the definition of marriage.

                During oral arguments at the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015, Justice Samuel Alito asked the Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli whether religious schools would lose their non-profit tax status if they stood for traditional marriage.  Verrilli answered, “It’s certainly going to be an issue.  I don’t deny that.  I don’t deny that, Justice Alito.  It is going to be an issue.”

                Ryan T. Anderson of The Heritage Foundation stated that there should be no issue with it.  “Citizens and organizations that continue to believe the truth about marriage should not be penalized by the government.  

                “Even if the Court says that all 50 states have to recognize a same-sex relationship as a marriage, there is no reason why the government should coerce or penalize institutions of civil society that simply ask to be free – without penalty – to continue to operate in accordance with the belief that marriage is a union of husband and wife.”

                Anderson explained that Justice Alito asked his question after Justice Antonin Scalia “asked about the religious liberty concerns if the Supreme Court creates a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.  When the lawyer replied that we hadn’t seen many religious liberty violations in the states that have democratically redefined marriage, Scalia pounced:  that’s his point.  Here’s how he explained it: `They are laws. They are not constitutional requirements.  That was the whole point of my question.  If you let the states do it, you can make an exception.  … You can’t do that once it is a constitutional proscription.’”

                Anderson concluded, “This highlights another reason why it would be wise for the Supreme Court to not disregard the constitutional authority of states to make marriage policy.  Not only is there nothing in the Constitution that requires the redefinition of marriage, but a ruling saying that there was could create unimaginable religious liberty violations.  These situations are best handled democratically.”

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