Wednesday, July 30, 2014

For religious liberty to mean something it has to protect us from the Chuck Schumers of this world who claim to support that religious freedom jive unless it impedes their legislative agenda

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) … speaks as if those who work for other people have unhindered free exercise rights
writes Benny Huang.
Nothing could be further from the truth. As society becomes increasingly hostile to people of faith, employees are discovering that they cannot keep their jobs and remain true to their sincerely held beliefs, which the Civil Rights Act of 1964 supposedly guarantees. That portion of the law everyone hypocritically claims to adore is routinely ignored.

One solution has been to start your own business though that doesn’t always solve the problem. As the Green family of Hobby Lobby has learned, even being your own boss doesn’t guarantee that you can live your life according to your faith.

You can’t practice your religion if you work for yourself and you can’t practice your religion if you work for someone else. What do you think this is? America?

Schumer’s remarks were delivered at a press conference in support of the misnamed and ultimately doomed Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act, which ought to have been called the Abolish Religious Freedom Act because that’s what it really is. Its purpose was to do an end-run around last month’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, thus forcing religious business owners to purchase abortion-inducing drugs for their employees. Thankfully, it failed even in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Like most great charlatans, Chuck Schumer speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He is conscious that he sounds hostile to free exercise rights so he makes the effort to begin each sentence with a pro forma affirmation of his adoration for religious liberty, followed by the word “but.” If it sounds like lip service that’s because it is.

 … Nearly every government in the world pays lip service to religious liberty. Even the North Korean constitution guarantees that “Citizens shall have freedom of religion.” Such guarantees of religious freedom are a sham of course, brushed aside whenever Kim Jong-Un feels inconvenienced, which is almost always. 

Britain claims that it guarantees religious liberty yet authorities have arrested street preachers who proclaim the sinfulness of homosexuality. Canada claims that it respects religious freedom but one of its provinces prohibits Catholic schools from teaching that abortion is wrong because such lessons amount to “bullying.”

As the aforementioned examples illustrate, in some localities religious liberty is just words on a page. For religious liberty to mean something it has to protect us from the Chuck Schumers of this world who claim to support that religious freedom jive unless it impedes their legislative agenda.

Schumer’s insincerity is apparent when one of his sentences is broken in half. He begins by saying, “We wouldn’t tell the owners of Hobby Lobby to convert to a different religion or disobey their religion…” Well yes, as a matter of fact “we”—the government, that is—would. That’s exactly what this lawsuit was about. This first part of the sentence is the pro forma portion that Schumer doesn’t really believe because it isn’t true. “We” really do want to bludgeon the Green family into submission, which is why “we” wasted millions of taxpayer dollars trying to force them to comply with the illegal mandate.

The senator continues: “…but we don’t say that they have to open up a company and go sell toys or hobby kits.” See? So the Greens brought it upon themselves by opening a business. They should have known that business owners don’t have the same rights as other people.

 … David Green … has always made his Christian values the cornerstone of his company. That wasn’t a problem for the first four decades of Hobby Lobby’s existence because the idea that a Christian business owner had a right to run his business according to Christian principles was remarkably uncontroversial.

But then came the “You didn’t build that” mentality, which essentially argues that private companies aren’t really private. The people who take the risk of starting a business, run the day-to-day operations, pay the taxes and insurance, and meet the payroll are mere managers who can be overruled in all instances by an intrusive and all-powerful government, even when its mandates run afoul of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or even the US Constitution.

 … Schumer’s contention here is that Americans can’t have it both ways. We can go into business for ourselves or we can have our constitutional rights but not both. That’s too much freedom. It makes Chuck woozy.