Friends of Faith
The fight to defend religious liberty against burdensome Obamacare mandates did not end with the Hobby Lobby case. Previous administrations likely would have gotten the court's message from that case, which granted certain for-profit businesses a religious exemption from the government's coercive contraception mandate. But not this one.
Editor’s note: This article was written Tuesday, Jan. 12.
The fight to defend religious liberty against burdensome Obamacare mandates did not end with the Hobby Lobby case. Previous administrations likely would have gotten the court’s message from that case, which granted certain for-profit businesses a religious exemption from the government’s coercive contraception mandate. But not this one.
The Obama administration is still trying to force religious organizations, including the Little Sisters of the Poor, to comply. For an administration that talks so much about a “war on women,” it continues to bring the full weight of federal power down on the heads of nuns.
Yesterday, 207 members of Congress filed a “friend of the court” brief (amicus brief) in support of the Little Sisters of the Poor. While a legal brief may not make headlines, it is significant.
These members of Congress are going on the record telling the court that the First Amendment right of religious freedom is more important than the left’s agenda of promoting abortion-inducing drugs. You would think that virtually every member of Congress could agree to that.
The State Of The Left
The annual State of the Union address is a chance for the president to highlight his priorities. He does this primarily in his speech, but also symbolically through his choice of guests who sit with the first lady during his remarks. As I noted yesterday, the president has invited advocates of Obamacare, open borders and same-sex marriage to be present at his final State of the Union address.
Members of Congress are getting in on the act too. According to various reports, 20 congressional liberals are inviting Muslims to attend tonight’s State of the Union address to protest what they allege is discrimination toward American Muslims. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Alcee Hastings (D-FL) have invited representatives from CAIR, a group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, to be their guests at the Capitol tonight.
Yet, according to FBI statistics, hate crimes against American Muslims have not significantly increased since the 9/11 attacks. But last week, a police officer in Philadelphia was nearly assassinated by a radical Islamist. Last month, 14 Americans were gunned down by two jihadists. Islamic extremism and anti-Semitism are on the rise on U.S. campuses.
But the first instinct among some left-wing members of Congress is to invite Muslims to the State of the Union address in protest of America’s alleged bigotry. That tells you a lot about the state of the left in America today.
By the way, Speaker Paul Ryan invited the Little Sisters of the Poor to be his guests tonight.
The Intolerant Left
On Fox & Friends this morning, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a liberal American Jew, commented about the growing intolerance of the left. Here’s what he said:
“In fact, when I was first teaching in the ‘50s there were attempts to censor speech by Senator McCarthy. The right-wing was trying to censor left-wing speech. Now it’s the hard left that’s trying to censor … conservative speech, Christian speech, pro-Israel speech, you name it.
"And this idea of safe spaces, we have to distinguish between safe spaces for ideas, there should be none, and physically safe places where you’re not intimidated or you’re not threatened. And Christian speakers, pro-Israel speakers, speakers that are not politically correct today, have their physical safety endangered.
"I know when I speak on college campuses in favor of Israel, I need armed guards protecting me from radical leftist students who would use physical intimidation. They won’t give me a safe space. They won’t give pro-Israel students a safe space, they won’t give Christian students a safe space.
"For example, when a group of Christians who were against abortion said all lives matter … they were attacked. They were told to be subject to training, and sensitivity, and the president of Smith College had to apologize for using that term.”
Professor Dershowitz is right. Whether it was speaking out in defense of unborn babies, in support for the normal meaning of marriage or for a safe and secure Israel, I have been on the receiving end of the left’s hate for many years. In the past, armed guards have parked in my driveway 24-hours a day because of threats to our family.
The “tyrants of tolerance” can be incredibly intolerant. Yet, we cannot surrender the field to those who would use the brute force of big government to crush our values and restrict our rights. We must fight back!
Big Labor Bracing For Big Loss
Mandatory union dues faced a skeptical hearing yesterday at the Supreme Court. The justices heard arguments in a case challenging California’s law that requires school teachers to pay union dues. The court’s four conservatives and Justice Anthony Kennedy appeared ready to strike down the court’s 1977 ruling that upheld forced union dues.
If they do, it could have major implications for public sector unions throughout the country. According to the Los Angeles Times, nearly two-dozen “mostly 'blue’ states have union-friendly laws requiring” mandatory union dues.