Diane at is Te-Deum blog is breaking the news:
The Obama Administration has mandated that all food stores in the United States selling refrigerated goods, MUST sell beef!
There is an exemption for vegetarians who only employ, and sell their goods to, vegetarians; and, for vegans who only employ, and sell their goods to, vegans.
What are the vegetarian and vegan store business owners to do?
If the food shop owner happens to be a Jain, then this mandate would not only be expecting him to violate his conscience, but also would be an assault on his religious liberty.
Reading this to a vegetarian friend of mine — she’s not a Vegan; she eats dairy — I was not surprised at her expression of outrage for the sake of the Vegan shop owners. She wondered if there was any sort of petition being offered or a demonstration being planned, because she’d participate: “I may not be a full Vegan, but that’s not right! You can’t force a Vegan to sell beef! That would be like telling them they have to actually slaughter the cow — it would repulse them! They wouldn’t be able to do it!”
Yes, I agree. I hope the Vegans take this to court. They’re lucky the administration isn’t specifying that they need to stock American Wagyu Beef!
I expect we’ll hear some quite justified and serious outcry — from civil libertarians, constitutional scholars and the more honest members of the mainstream press — about the administration perpetuating an assault on the rights of Vegans to be who and what they are in this world of diverse and varied thoughts and beliefs. And although I am not a Vegan and could never be a Vegan, or subscribe to their views, I too support their right to their consciences: no Vegan shop owner should ever have to stock beef — or indeed any sort of animal product or by-product — in their store, if they do not choose to. That’s what liberty is all about.
The Vegans are not being forced to stock flesh in their stores in order to serve either their meat-eating employees or the carnivores of the surrounding community?
Seems Diane got the story wrong? The Vegans are safe. They can continue to work and serve and employ others while remaining faithful to their ideals and their beliefs. The Obama administration is not intruding upon their right to do so.
Catholics, on the other hand, are being told they have one year’s “grace” period, before they have to start offering coverage for sterilization, contraception and abortifacients to their employees. Or else. Despite the explicitly stated right to freedom of religion in our first amendment.
I’d been wondering how to come up with a secular example that might help people understand the reality of a government’s assault on the conscience. Diane’s spoof did it brilliantly!
But I wonder if the Catholics can depend on the support of civil libertarians, civil rights activists, constitutional scholars and the, ahem, more honest members of the mainstream press to address this action the Obama administration is taking against the churches — and make no mistake, this is not only about the Catholics. As illustrated with the recently-decided Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School vs EEOC, this administration is attempting to not only chase the churches out of the public square, but to insert itself into their internal concerns and negate those teachings with which it disagrees.
You wouldn’t force a Jewish Deli to stock lobster in reserve for its gentile employees. A reasonable gentile or non-observant Jewish employee would understand who she works for and would not expect it. It would not impact her freedom to buy her own lobster.
You wouldn’t force a Muslim Madrassah to pay for an employee’s pulled-pork sandwich; a reasonable non-Muslim employee would not even think to ask it.
It’s not a difficult concept, really; you don’t have to be that smart to get it.
Read the rest of Diane’s piece and the combox discussion. She’s updated to include a growing list of bishop’s statements!
Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch: Jews need stronger ties to the Catholic Church to ensure their survival:
“We’re 13 million Jews in the whole world — less than one-tenth of 1 percent,” said Koch, while being honored by the Beit Morasha of Jerusalem public- policy organization in Manhattan Wednesday night.
“And we need allies. The best ally we can have is the Catholic Church. Oh, you can go back in history when they were not great allies. But they proved to be. It started with Pope John XXIII and Pope [John] Paul II. We have to reach out to them.”
The former mayor didn’t stop there.
He criticized Orthodox Jews for refusing to step foot in a Catholic church.
“It’s ridiculous, ridculous,” Koch declared. “What we have to do is reach out in friendship.”
Seems to me the writing is on the wall: the churches better start hanging together, or their going to hang alone. Here is one way to gird thy loins
Archbishop Dolan in the WSJ (pdf)
I suspect civil disobedience is in our future; I’ll be there with bells on! And I kind of like this idea!.
Pundette: “tyranny, pure and simple”, aye, it is.
Keep up with the news here
UPDATE: conscience clauses have been under assault for a while.