RFRA

Rebuttal: The LGBT Mafia Demands Conformity or Destruction

tolerance

We are a diverse group here at United Liberty, and we’re not afraid to challenge each other. That said, this is a rebuttal to an earlier post on the RFRA fracas in Indiana. Debate is democracy.

 

“No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.” ~ Alan Bullock, British Historian

 

Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last time, the political Left (and some libertarian allies) have attempted to declare victory on an issue by redefining the terms, maligning dissenters, and using strong-arm tactics to suppress dissent in the debate over homosexual “marriage” and “gay rights”. Watching the hysteria and outrage over Indiana’s recently signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, one would think conservative Christians were attacking homosexuals with fire hoses and attack dogs.

So it is that I must respectfully take issue with the assertions of my more socially liberal friends, who paint the RFRA legislation as an instrument of discrimination, relegating homosexuals (and bisexuals and transgendered, and the dozens of other sub-categories of sexual “identities” that one may now claim to have – like a Baskin Robbins of sexual preferences) to the status of “second class citizenship”.

Because We’re Not Afraid of Debate: RFRA Madness —Marriage Support May Suffer, But That’s a Good Thing

RFRA desormeaux

 

This was originally posted at Cynicus Prime.

One of the most startling memes I’ve seen in the wake of the Indiana RFRA debate is the swift retreat by many conservatives from their previously stated support for same-sex marriage equality. Many analysts expect this kind of pushback when an issue becomes as heated as this one has. The pendulum swings back and forth, they say, and perhaps RFRA was the top of the equal rights swing and now the descent begins. Maybe, maybe not. But the pushback we’ve seen here is incredibly instructive, and ultimately worth the price for an honest public debate.

I couldn’t scroll my Twitter timeline at any point on Wednesday without someone saying they were now rethinking or abandoning their support for gay marriage after Indiana. They had reluctantly agreed that marriage would be ok, but to have their businesses hired to (not at all) participate in them? Fascism! Totalitarianism!

At first blush, this sounds like an unfortunate setback for the LGBT equal rights movement. Polls may soon show a softening of national support for marriage equality. Well, I say it’s about time. The emergent consensus was a fairy tale. It was too good to be true.

The Supreme Court just handed a huge victory to Hobby Lobby: Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate violates religious liberty

Hobby Lobby

The Supreme Court ruled this morning that closely-held corporations with religious beliefs are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and do not have to comply with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.

In the 5 to 2 decision, the High Court explained that the federal government cannot compel Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties, through tax penalties, to provide contraceptive coverage that they believe is morally unacceptable according to their religious beliefs.

“As we have seen, [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] was designed to provide very broad protection for religious liberty. By enacting RFRA, Congress went far beyond what this Court has held is constitutionally required,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority. “Is there any reason to think that the Congress that enacted such sweeping protection put small-business owners to the choice that HHS suggests? An examination of RFRA’s text…reveals that Congress did no such thing.”

Alito explained that the business owners in the case make no objection to most forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but rather the four methods — Plan B, Ella, and two forms of IUDs — that they believe prevent the fertilization of an egg. The business owners consider these to be tantamount to abortion and fundamentally inconsistent with their religious beliefs.

Supreme Court to hear contraception mandate cases

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in two casesSebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialities v. Sebelius — dealing with Obamacare’s controversial contraception mandate.

Though there are some religious exemptions to the mandate, there are no carve outs for businesses that base their operations on their religious beliefs, leaving them to face hefty, potentially crippling fines if they refuse to offer health insurance coverage that covers contraceptives.

The case that has received the most attention is that of Hobby Lobby Stores. David Green, the owner and founder of the crafts chain, argues that the contraception mandate violates his religious liberty under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) because it would force his businesses to offer plans that cover the morning after pill, which, he believes, is tantamount to abortion.

The argument at hand, however, isn’t about abortion, though supporters of the mandate are trying to make it about women’s health. The question is whether the RFRA, which protects an individual’s right to freely exercise their religion, applies to businesses and corporations because of the objections of the owners.

Filings in the case explain that Green runs his business “with religious principles in mind” and points to the company’s mission statement, which commits to “[h]onoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”

Christian colleges win court challenge over Obamacare’s contraception mandate

The Obama Administration received another legal blow today over a controversial rule requiring that employers — including many faith-based schools and businesses — provide health plans that cover emergency birth control.

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal ruled in favor of two Texas-based colleges — East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University — that challenged the contraceptive mandate on the grounds that it violated religious freedom protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA). He also issued an injunction against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing the mandate.

“The courts have identified several ‘less restrictive means’ of serving the interests the government has identified than a total denial of the religious exemption request,” wrote Rosenthal, who serves on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He identified a few different ways to provide contraception to employees without the mandate.

“The result is to find and conclude that plaintiffs have shown both a substantial likelihood of succeeding on the merits of their claim that the mandate and accommodation substantially burden the plaintiffs’ religious exercise and the absence of a genuine factual dispute material to this determination,” he noted. “The government has failed to show that the mandate and accommodation are the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling government interest.”

In granting the injunction, Rosenthal explained that “[p]rotecting constitutional rights and the rights under RFRA are in the public’s interest.”


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