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4/1/2014 - April 2014 SLi Educational Update - Religious Liberty in Peril: Obamacare and Gay Rights



 To:                  SLI Supporters                                  

 Date:               April 2014  

 From:              A. Eric Johnston

 Re:                  Religious Liberty in Peril:  Obamacare and Gay Rights

  One should never underestimate the power of the Presidency of the United States.  While the office carries prestige and respect, the person in power can subjugate his authority to efforts that do not serve the Constitution.  Two immediate threats to religious liberty have both emanated from President Barack Obama and his accomplices.

 Let us begin with the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a “Obamacare.”  This nationalized insurance scheme requires employers to pay for abortifacients.  Though exceptions were made for churches and some religious organizations, it does not exempt for profit businesses.  Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are two for profit businesses, owned and operated by Christians, who objected to providing abortifacients based on sincerely held religious beliefs.  The Third Circuit Court of Appeals did not uphold a religious exemption for Conestoga, while the Tenth Circuit upheld one for Hobby Lobby.  With this conflict, the cases went before the United State Supreme Court and were orally argued on March 25, 2014.  While the court visited many issues and there were many briefs filed on various concerns, the issue really boils down to what extent will Americans enjoy their religious freedom?    

 At the same time, recall the decision from June 2013 when the United States Supreme Court in Windsor v. United States ruled the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which recognized traditional marriage for federal law purposes, violated the Equal Protection Clause.  The Court said federal law must not preempt the marriage laws of the various states.  Recognizing same-sex marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy doublespoke about respecting the laws of states.  His rhetoric was so strong that it has already led to lawsuits striking down traditional marriage laws in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Virginia, Texas, Illinois and Tennessee.  Some will be appealed.  A similar suit has been filed against Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and there has been no ruling at this time.  What is obvious is that same sex marriage in America is on its way in.  With this legalization will come prohibitions from discrimination with penalties.

 So how do the Hobby Lobby, Conestoga  and Windsor cases threaten religious freedom?  One example is the application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a federal law that prohibits the federal government from burdening religious rights without having a compelling interest achieved in the least restrictive way.  It is possible the Court will give it weak application in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga.  Compare a recent defeat of a proposed similar Arizona law by gay activists.  Alabama has such a law.  The goal is to diminish constitutional protection of religion.  What happens in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga will be an indication of what will happen with state traditional marriage cases. 

 Obama’s Justice Department does not perform its constitutional duty to defend laws.  It makes subjective judgment decisions on those it will enforce.  It is not protecting religious rights in these cases.  Though Obama speaks as a Christian, it is with hypocrisy.  He leads us to believe he is interested in religious rights, while at the same time his minions are undermining them.  Socialism, communism, and other government dominated cultures cannot stand to have religious freedom.

For the culprits, social fairness means we must accept abortion and same sex marriage.  Already, mainline Protestant churches accept this.  Their gospel of Christ is to love everyone, regardless of their preference or their right to choose.  We should love people, but not their sin.  The question is whether the true church of Christ will be able to preach against these sins and people live free of persecution.  Religious freedom would permit it, but laws like we have never seen before will come and the supremacy of the federal judiciary, along with the policies of a corrupt Justice Department, will deny religious freedom and put people in jail.

Obama’s America cannot recognize a religious freedom where virtually any religion may be freely exercised by everyone.  This is so because it is driven by secularism, that is, no religion may stand in the way of a secular state that dictates a conscience of its own, that requires obeisance to same sex relations, abortion, forced substandard healthcare and a diminution of America in the eyes of the world.  America’s exceptionalism is replaced by a socialist attitude of we, the government bureaucrats, know best for you, regardless of how sincere your beliefs or faith may be.

 Are we surprised at how quickly it is coming about under the Obama Administration?  I think we are.  We must learn from history.  Lately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been compared to Adolf Hitler for the annexation of a country without regard to law.  We can compare the assault on religious freedom to the Nazi’s assault on the evangelical Confessing Church in 1933.  Those churches were speaking against Nazism.  By 1936, within only three years, laws were passed forbidding the church to speak against the government.  Mainline churches in Germany submitted to the Nazi gospel.  Members of the Confessing Church were jailed and many executed.

This is the concern we have for America right now.  Court cases, legislation and court cases are all in play.  God be with us.

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