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WHERE HAS THE FIRST AMENDMENT GONE?
by Paul Lemmen, blogging at An Ex-Con’s View, ©2012
(Feb. 13, 2012) — Recent proclamations and edicts from on high demonstrate that this administration is severely limiting the freedoms and rights assigned to “We the People” in the Constitution.
A perfect example of this is the mandate from HHS Secretary Sebelius regarding contraception and abortifacient drugs. This mandate (edict) shows that this administration, from the President on down, is not only abrogating the right to free expression of religion as stated in the 1st Amendment, but also sets itself up as the arbiter of religious expression and defining authority of religion, thus creating the State as a religion (or State as God), in direct violation of the Establishment of Religion clause(frequently incorrectly cited as the separation of Church and State) in the 1st Amendment. The opening line of the 1st Amendment reads thus:“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.
Thus we see that by assigning to the government the authority to define and proclaim religious expression, what is allowable and what is not, this administration not only violates the “free exercise thereof” portion but also the primary portion “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.
Let us look at this deeper. Congress passed a law known colloquially as “Obamacare”. In this law, the Secretary of HHS (Health and Human Services) is given wide latitude in making policies and regulations regarding healthcare and health services without the consent or even the overview of Congress. In the recent mandate issued by Secretary Sebelius, employers who are required by the law to provide healthcare insurance to their employees are now mandated to provide a level of insurance that includes, at no cost to the employee insured, contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacient drugs without regard to the religious orientation of the employer forced by this mandate to pay for these services. The announcement that faith based or religion affiliated employers would not be exempted because of religious beliefs has caused the great outcry of recent days.
Therein is the violation of the 1st Amendment in both prime and secondary clauses. Secretary Sebelius, by her policy mandating these actions, creates a violation of the primary directive of the 1st Amendment against the establishment of religion. Her policy sets the government as the arbiter of religious expression and belief by requiring all religious institutions, employers and affiliated employers to provide these services to their employees. This creates and sets the government as a religion in and of itself and requires all citizens to follow the dictates of the government religion.
This also violates the second clause of the 1st Amendment regarding the“free exercise thereof…”. The mandate violates this section in that it compels all, regardless of religious belief, to adhere to the governments mandated beliefs.
The State as God is the result. Will we see the imposition of this on our Republic? Will “We the People” allow our rights erased in this manner?
Yesterday, White House spokesman Jacob Lew, in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” stated:
“We have set out our policy. We are going to finalize it in the final rules, but I think what the president announced on Friday is a balanced approach that meets the concerns raised both in terms of access to health care and in terms of protecting religious liberties, and we think that’s the right approach.
Really? The only protection of religious liberties is that we must follow the edicts of the “Pope of DC”, (the President) and the appointed members of his administration.
The shell game that the President offered as a supposed compromise on Friday is simply a lie.
God doesn’t accept lies.
Stand up, call or write your elected representatives and tell them this is an unacceptable violation of the Constitution. Regardless of your personal religious beliefs, whether you believe in contraceptives and abortion or not, this is an egregious usurpation of the rights of “We the People” that must not stand.
I personally regard this as the “line in the sand” beyond which we must not allow the government to cross. Stand with me on this, let our voices be raised together “No further!”