Jewish World Review July 4, 2014 / 6 Tammuz, 5774
A blow for liberty, or: The Supremes choose life
By Paul Greenberg
Just in time for the
Whether this is only a glancing blow for religious liberty or one whose ramifications ripple out and lead to a new birth of freedom, only time and further precedents may tell. For this decision is not just a legal one but part of an ongoing cultural battle, a Kulturkampf, to determine just how tolerant of religious belief -- and practice -- America remains.
This week's term-ending ruling could affect only a few companies whose owners refuse to leave their moral convictions behind when they form a family corporation. Or it could affect many more, even the whole culture. For the
But as has become all too clear of late, the
There's no doubt that the owners of the corporations involved in this week's landmark decision were following their religious convictions.
At least they were fighting words to the four dissenting justices in this case, who sounded as strident as ever as they warned that granting such exemptions for no better reason than religious conviction would undermine the administration's whole, wide-sweeping health-care program, aka Obamacare.
Some of us might have to hold back our cheers at that prospect, for this president's "signature achievement" continues to be a source of significant failures, not to mention a mountain of exemptions, waivers and changes the administration itself has granted as Obamacare continues to founder.
The innocent reader might wonder what all the fuss is about, since the ever unreliable mainstream media keeps reporting that these few companies who went to court (for a long and expensive time) were objecting only to their being forced to pay for innocuous "contraceptive" services -- without getting into the grisly details, like abortion and sterilization. And yet all of Obamacare is marked by not just an indifference to life but a contempt for it, treating pregnancy itself as a disease to be cured rather than a natural process that should afford new hope with every generation.
Obamacare's web is widely woven, for it ignores the old Hyde Amendment's prohibitions against having government subsidize abortions. It encourages, indeed just about requires, state insurance exchanges to subsidize abortions. And it mandates coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.
Naturally all this is called "preventive care," in accordance with Obamacare's abundant supply of euphemisms for life-ending procedures. And, at least till now, the administration has generally been able to brush off those churches, religious families and just plain Americans who have conscientious objections to taking human life.
Those of us who would choose life increasingly find ourselves part of a counterculture, a culture of life as opposed to the fashionable one that celebrates death by some other name. "Preventive Care," for example.
This time the rights of believers have been upheld by five justices of the
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Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer prize-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
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