Government to Apple: Never mind

The federal government dropped its lawsuit to force Apple to break into its iPhone security system, so as to investigate the San Bernadino terrorists.  The FBI was able to hack into the phone without Apple’s help.  Which was arguably the way it should be! [Read more…]

Exemptions for corporations, but not religious groups

The federal government insists that the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious groups enable their insurance companies to provide contraceptives for their employees.   There is to be no religious exemption, and yet big corporations like Pepsi, Visa, Exxon, and Chevron are exempt from the requirement.  This is because their existing plans have been grandfathered in under Obamacare.  In fact, as many as a third of Americans are in plans that are exempt from the mandate.  So in what sense is providing free contraception such a compelling government interest that it overrides religious liberty?

This point came out in the Supreme Court arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, involving not only the Little Sisters of the Poor but also over 30 other religious non-profits that have joined the case.

[Read more…]

Supreme Court to rule on sinning vs. causing others to sin

Tomorrow the short-handed Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor on whether they should be forced to go through the paperwork so that their employees can get free contraception and abortifacients under Obamacare.

The government says that the Roman Catholic nuns aren’t being forced to provide contraception.  Rather, they just have to declare that they are opting out so that their insurance company can provide the services for free.  Since they aren’t paying for the pills and devices, argues the government, they aren’t violating their religious beliefs.

But that shows complete ignorance of Roman Catholic moral theology.  For one thing, the morality of an action depends, in part, on the intention.  In this case, the intention of filing the paperwork would be to let employees commit a grave sin.  Also, it isn’t just sinful if an individual does something wrong.  Causing someone else to sin can be even worse. [Read more…]

ISIS charged with genocide

Secretary of State John Kerry concurred with a unanimous House of Representatives resolution in formally charging ISIS with committing genocide against the Yazidis, Shi’ites, and  Christians. [Read more…]

The new Supreme Court nominee

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to take the late Antonin Scalia’s slot on the Supreme Court.  Garland is a well-regarded Appeals Court judge, clearly well-qualified and with a reputation for moderation.

Republicans in Congress are refusing to even consider him, insisting that any appointment should wait until after the presidential election.

But couldn’t we expect Hillary Clinton to nominate someone even more liberal?  And who would Trump nominate?  His pro-abortion sister, as he said he might?  Also, pundits are now saying that there is now a good chance that in an anti-Trump landslide Republicans might lose the Senate.  Republicans might do a lot worse than Garland.

Obama is obviously proposing Garland as a safe choice and a way to coax Republicans into allowing him his appointment.  And to look pettily partisan if they oppose a well-qualified candidate with the full panoply of opposition research and personal attacks, as is planned.

Republicans should just praise the nominee but stand on the principle of letting the next president choose.

[Read more…]

Hostility to religion

In 2012, the First Liberty Institute documented over 600 overt cases in America of “legal, social, or cultural” attacks on religion and infringements of religious liberty.  This year’s report has 1,285.

This doesn’t count, of course, the climate of hostility to religion in certain social groups.

Jesus told his followers to expect hostility, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  But it remains a curious cultural shift.  Do you think American Christians, who have tended to crave popularity, are ready for this?

[Read more…]


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