WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the battle continues against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visibly clashed in a hearing Thursday with pro-life House lawmakers, who compelled the secretary to admit she hadn’t reviewed case law on religious liberty before issuing the rule.

Sebelius appeared before the House Education and Workforce Committee where she was grilled by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) on the mandate, which requires religious employers to cover contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs.

Grilled, skewered, and left to squirm and twist. It is strikingly clear Sebelius has little knowledge of religious liberty or just doesn’t care to know. Either way, her demeanor is of one who quite plainly feels that constitutional law is beneath her as she smugly dismisses Rep. Gowdy’s questions stating, “ I am not going to wade into constitutional law.”

When one proposes a mandate that infringes on the constitutional rights and religious liberties of US citizens you can expect to do a little more than “wade into constitutional law”. You’d want someone to dive in head first… unless of course you are Sebelius and can’t be bothered with legalities.

… Today, as we light up our grills and load up the beer coolers or head to the beach and make ourselves picnic ready, let’s us reflect a moment on these words from the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

And we typically stop reading there. Because the pursuit of happiness sounds like a mighty fine thing. It’s our unalienable right to pursue happiness, by God and Country, and how dare anyone try and impede that happiness or my right to it.

God bless, ‘Murica!

The problem is, a lot of folks think happiness is defined by doing what we want, any time we want without consequence or regard to others.

Aside from being a very narrow, pathological definition of happiness, the Declaration of Independence goes on to say a whole lot more important stuff. That stuff being very timely to our current political climate.

The Declaration of Independence is just that. A declaration; a formal or explicit statement.

Stating and declaring what? Independence.

Independence from what? Tyranny.

It’s not a Declaration of Happiness or the pursuit of it. It’s not a Declaration of Do Whatever the Hell You Want. It’s a declaration of independence from tyranny. It’s this independence that is the cause of our joy. Our freedom as a nation, as free people, is the source of happiness.

It’s such an important document that Abraham Lincoln considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy. Lincoln thought the Declaration’s principles should be the same principles used to interpret the United States Constitution.

And yet most of never read beyond the first sentence and use it as their right to self indulgence.

To celebrate this Fourth of July let’s read on a little farther.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

And here we are today, being forced by our government, who knows better than we do what’s in our own best interest, to submit to the whims of their own “transient causes”. And if you don’t accept their causes as law then you are a bigoted, racist homophobe who deserves to lose your job, be audited by the IRS, have your possessions seized, and be publicly castigated and bullied.

All your rights are belong to us.

Which is a greater pursuit of happiness — unquestioning obedience to the government, or practicing your right and duty to throw off such government to provide new guards for future security?

… Because that’s what overindulged, ungrateful kids do. They write smug, condescending articles about the people who sacrificed and cared for them. And for what purpose? Just to feel validated with their political choices.

In the most astonishing piece of self appeasing rubbish I’ve had the displeasure of reading, Edwin Lyngar publicly mocks his own father for the crime of having a different political opinion. In his epic ode to incurable assholery, Mr. Lyngar writes;

I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria

Old white people are drowning in despair and rage. Here’s how my father lost his mind — thanks to his cable diet

Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation. They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.

Old, white, wrinkled, and angry. Flattering description of his father, no?

It’s a fight to read any further after the laughable suggestion that Obama is a “moderate Democrat”. But this is Salon, after all. They’re hardly known for staffing stellar minds. Narcissistic dictator. Hopelessly disengaged. Perpetually on vacation. Violator of Constitutional rights. Any of those would apply… but moderate Democratic.

Is it possible to get any stupider and offensive? Yes. Yes it is.

We’re losing people like my father to the despair of Fox News, and it’s all by design.

My dad is 67 years old, a full year younger than the average Fox viewer, who is 68, according to an analysis in New York magazine by columnist Frank Rich. I’ve read accounts of people my age — 40 or so — losing parents to cancer or Alzheimer’s, but just as big a tragedy are the crops of grandmothers and grandfathers debilitated by Fox News-induced hysteria.

You read that correctly. Mr. Lyngar just equated losing a parent to cancer and Alzheimer’s with watching Fox News.

Keeping it classy, he continues…

When I finally pulled the handle for Obama in 2012, my father could not believe how far I’d fallen. I have avoided talking politics with him as much as possible ever since. Last week, I invited him to my house for dinner with the express purpose of talking about politics and most especially his Fox News addiction. Since he retired, he only watches Fox. As we started chatting up politics, I repeated one mantra over and over: “Please, please, consume another source of information.” I repeated my plea a dozen times.

I’m sure the irony is lost on Mr. Lyngar, begging his father to ingest a different source of information. I expect it is. After all he stills believes in global warming. What type of person invites their father over to dinner with a hidden agenda? A sick one.

“I don’t care to see any more of that liberal bullshit,” he said in one form or another all night.

We rehashed some issues, starting with his absolute skepticism about global warming and evolution. “Science and religion are the same thing,” he said. And, “We didn’t come from a fucking monkey,” he added like he always does.

This is so unbelievable to me. Why can’t Mr. Lyngar respect his father’s wishes and just agree to disagree, like a normal fucking person who doesn’t suffer obsessive issues with having to be right all the time or like someone who was raised to have more than an ounce of respect for their elders.

So what happened?

“I’m overeducated in the humanities…”

Ah. It all makes sense now. Education is not the same as intelligence. Clearly.

If you have a stomach lined with steel and are feeling prematurely penitential for Lent, you can hope over to Salon to continue reading. But be warned, the rest of the article is pure hateful and willful ignorant bilge. Here, I’ll save you the trouble with a highlight reel…

• Mr. Lyngar delights in the death of Fox New’s elderly viewers because with them goes Fox News.

• There’s the ever present white guilt and self loathing that permeates among liberal elitists.

• Archie Bunker references

• Pseudo science and fake intellectualism

… It doesn’t take a constitutional scholar or lawyer to know that abortion is not in the constitution and clearly you’d expect people like Sebelius, who can’t be bothered, and Pelosi, that pillar of morality, to know that. They just choose to ignore that fact. Piers Morgan, on the other hand, needs a bit of Constitutional refreshing.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia schooled CNN host Piers Morgan during an interview last night on a host of subjects, including abortion. during the interview, Justice Scalia explained to Morgan how the Constitution does not include a right to abortion.

Scalia says the theory of substantive due process in the Roe v. Wade decision makes no legal sense.

“My Court in recent years has invented what is called ‘substantive due process’ by simply saying some liberties are so important that no process would suffice to take them away. That was the theory used in Roe v. Wade and it’s a theory that is simply a lie,” he said.

In his defense, he is British. Admittedly, there’s not much I know about their constitutional monarchy. But then again, I’m not on CNN.

Related rants about Constitutional confusion can be found here, and more stupidity brought to courtesy of Morgan and Bloomberg.

Supreme Court Upholds Pro-Abortion, Pro-Rationing Obamacare

‎”Under the Affordable Care Act, abortions are free of charge, but life saving medicine and treatments require a co-pay. All Americans who are on government subsidized healthcare plans (which would be almost all Americans) will be forced to pay for abortion through a hidden surcharge that insurance companies are not even allowed to tell their customers about, except in the initial sign up process. This is how radically pro-abortion the Obama administration really is, and its ‘health care reform’ policy reflects this radical stance.” – Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International

“The Supreme Court today officially declared that our current government pays no heed to the Constitution. Neither the President, nor Congress, nor the Supreme Court appears willing to protect life or liberty. If ever there were a time in history when the American people needed to be informed voters on Election Day, this is it. The mandate is a brazen attack on our religious liberty. Today’s ruling on Obamacare was a setback, but it is not the end of the battle.” – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life

I’m preparing for the fallout…

At least everyone in the DNC is staying classy. Te he. I just made myself laugh.

… It only follows to reason. This, of course, was the whole not-so-hidden agenda behind the driven attempts to legalize homosexual “marriage”. I still contend it was never about marriage but about forcing society – a society that has always voted against same-sex marriage every time it’s presented on the ballot, even in California – to view a disordered lifestyle as normal. You will come around to their way of thinking. And if you don’t…

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled that it is illegal for a photography business owned by Christians to refuse to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony—even though New Mexico law does not permit same-sex marriage… The courts dismissed arguments that the statute violated the owners’ religious-freedom rights. [SOURCE]

Ruling: The case at bar is generally applicable and neutral; it does not selectively burden any religion or religious belief. The NMHRA applies generally to all citizens transacting commerce and business through public accommodations that deal with the public at large, and any burden on religion or some religious beliefs is incidental and uniformly applied to all citizens … As such, the government need not have a compelling interest to justify the burden it places on individuals who fall under its proscriptions. Because a rational basis exists to support the governmental interest in protecting specific classes of citizens from discrimination in public accommodations, the NMHRA does not violate the free exercise clause protections under the First Amendment.

The final court ruling was based on the whole argument that this was discrimination against a protected class – a protected class that isn’t even allowed to “marry” by New Mexico’s state laws. Interesting. And yes, you read that right, the government does not feel it even needs to justify the burden it places on individuals in incidental situations.

Updated June 10, 2012 to include this link; because I concur that homosexual “rights” are not a Civil Rights issue.

“Vanessa Willock emailed Elaine Huguenin, a professional photographer, in 2006 to ask her if she would photograph Willock’s same-sex “commitment ceremony.” Huguenin replied that she only photographed “traditional” weddings. Willock’s partner then emailed Huguenin the next day, asking her if she could photograph her “wedding,” with no mention of what the ceremony actually would be. Huguenin replied, via mail, that she would and sent the partner a brochure of packages and their prices. Willock filed charges against Huguenin two months later in New Mexico’s Human Rights Division, claiming as her harm that she received an email from Huguenin stating, “we do not photograph same-sex weddings.”

What I can take from this case is two-fold: first, “insult” is the moral and legal equivalency of “harm.” Willock was not “harmed” in that she suffered a personal injury. Albuquerque is a good-sized city and it is reasonable to believe that there are a fair number of professional photographers who could have shot Willock’s ceremony. Is it discrimination? Well, yes – and so what? People discriminate all the time; the difference is what or who is recognized by law to be “protected.” So Willock’s sexual orientation is protected but Huguenin’s exercise of religion is not, although both statuses received strict scrutiny in violations thereof under the US Constitution.

Harm? Photography for a wedding ceremony, gay or straight, is hardly the denial of life’s necessities.” [SOURCE]

… I think Marc Barnes stated it aptly when he said

When any creature that normally takes half a century to form a complete statement starts a united effort to destroy your plans, think twice about your own brilliance.

And that is exactly what happened today, a united effort.

The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country. The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special website–preservereligiousfreedom.org–to explain its lawsuit and present news and developments concerning it.

Updated 5/22/12

… I’m no legal expert or canon lawyer but this sounds like quite a stretch;

Last month, South Dakota passed a law that seeks to prevent the enforcement of “any religious code.” The very brief bill stated simply: “No court, administrative agency, or other governmental agency may enforce any provisions of any religious code.”

It seems quite innocuous, but clearly, it was intended to target the threat of sharia law. In many other states, similar laws do not mention sharia explicitly, but rather “foreign law” or “foreign codes.” As many have pointed out, this is a solution looking for a problem, as nowhere in America are Muslims seeking to supplant the Constitution with sharia law. If you think about this and delve into South Dakota’s law and similar laws in other states, one thing starts to become clear: Leaving aside the fact that these laws are discriminatory by their very nature, any law that bans “foreign codes” should cause Catholics to take heed.

That is because the Holy See, which is the source of Catholic canon law, resides in the Vatican, a city-state that is a sovereign, independent country. Thus, technically, Catholic Canon Law is a “foreign code” or “foreign law,” and those state laws that prevent courts from enforcing or taking “foreign laws” into account should also then apply to Catholic Canon Law. [SOURCE]

My understanding is those looking to impose sharia law want separate courts to enforce their religious laws. You know, to protect people that carry out honor killings and junk. Sharia law looks to circumvent laws that everyone else has to follow by claiming a religious exemption, like exempting women in burqas from TSA pat downs. Catholics haven’t called for separate legal systems and we still follow civic laws so I don’t follow the extreme leaps in logic of this statement, from the same article;

This is significant because any marriage officiated in a Catholic Church under Catholic religious rules cannot be enforced by the courts if anti-Sharia bills become law. Couples need to get a marriage license, but if they choose to have, for example, a Catholic religious ceremony—which brings the marriage into being—in a church rather than a courthouse, then those marriages are performed using a “foreign law.”

If, God forbid, such a couple were to then divorce, the court cannot do anything because the marriage was officiated with a “foreign law.” If one spouse were to die, the court would not be allowed to enforce the deceased’s will, because, again, the marriage was officiated using “foreign law.” If a spouse is sick and incapacitated in a hospital, how can the health care providers take the spouse as a surrogate decision maker if, in the first place, the marriage cannot be enforced because it was officiated using “foreign law”?

Um… yeah.

I guess one could make a connection with anti-sharia bills and Catholics current fight against the HHS mandate, but I see our fight as one against the government looking to impose laws preventing us from practicing our religion. Anti sharia bills, as I understand it, are about preventing foreign religious groups from establishing their own laws and legal systems that trump pre-existing civil laws and prevent those laws from being upheld. That’s a significant difference. When Catholics get divorced we get divorced in the same courts as everyone else so I fail to see the connection this author is trying to make. In all honesty, it just sounds like he is trying to win support – support I will never ever ever give – for the idea of sharia law being established here in the US by creating a strange series of events that may or may not effect Catholics.

Again I am no legal expert or canon lawyer so I ask, do you think the intentionally vague language of the bill could be a threat, because I don’t. But I would love to hear your take on it since I am obviously biased and suffer from bouts of misanthropic xenophobia.

Sound off.

PS – To be very very clear, I would like to add that I will never ever support sharia law here, or anywhere for that matter, due to the heinous and vicious persecution suffered by Christians living in Muslim dominated countries where sharia law is practiced. It is this author’s very strong belief and opinion that Islam is not a religion of tolerance and peace. Suggesting a discussion on this topic does not imply I think sharia law is OK or that I entertain the slightest possibility that sharia law should be upheld in US.

… “Up to 30 people were pepper-sprayed by police after students tried to storm a Santa Monica College trustee board meeting in protest over proposed higher course fees.”

The students were chanting, “No cuts, no fees, education should be free”.

Education should be free.

Free, because teachers don’t deserve a salary. Free, because it doesn’t cost a dime to maintain the school’s infrastructure and facilities. Yes, free. Free to make getting a college education has commonplace – read worthless – as having a high school diploma.

There used to be this notion, called the American Dream, where “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement“. The idea was that you can attain for yourself upward social mobility, regardless of social class or birth, through hard work.

Ah, work.

I worked in high school to save for college. After 2 years that money ran out and guess what, I got another job. I took all the required courses for my degree at a local community college and transferred the credits to save money. When I went back to college and studied nursing, 15 years later, I paid for everything myself as well. Again, I worked.

College is expensive. Expensive as hell. No one is doubting that. But to say you can’t go to college, in this day and age, because you’re poor is absurd. If you maintain your GPA in high school and get a part time job you can easily afford a local community college. From there, with good grades, you can apply for the endless grants and scholarships that exist. But you have to maintain your grades, which requires study and effort. You also have to save money and not blow it all on PBR and beard wax. It’s hard, I know.

What is this work, of which you speak?

If you are an average student of average intelligence do not expect people to throw money at your feet to get a “free” education. If you do not want to work don’t expect the rest of us who do to feel pity for you. And lastly, there is no right to riot in the Constitution. If you chose to storm a board meeting than don’t be surprised if you are met with unwelcome resistance.

Chanel that disgruntled rage on your resume. Use that boundless energy to pound the pavement and find a job. Stop expecting everything to be handed to you. You have a right to this, that, or the other. No, actually you don’t. You have a right to attain upward social mobility, yes, through hard work and actual achievement.

And if you still can’t manage college what is so gosh darn terrible about finding a job and entry level position and working your way up the ladder? That is what the American Dream was about, advancing through your own efforts. An 18 year old store clerk could, through hard work and job experience, be promoted to store manager then to district manager. There is nothing degrading about starting from the bottom. Some of the best bosses I’ve ever worked for started out this way. What made them great was the hands-on knowledge they learned from each job level as they progressed forward.

All these gov’t hand outs have made people expectant and perfectly helpless to care for themselves. Ambition, drive, and ingenuity is being bred out of our youths. People come to the work force with nothing to offer except unrealistic expectations to be made CEO because they have a right to something.

Maybe it’s just a simple matter of confusion. The words ‘right’ and ‘want’ or not synonymous. You may want a house but do not have a right to a house. To get a house you need to have saved a deposit and have a decent credit score to be approved for a home loan. If you do not make the effort to save the money or build credit than you get no house. The government, or anyone else for that matter, does not owe you a house simply because you want one.

You may want a college education but you do not have a right to one; unless you are willing to put in the time and energy to attain one.

I’m not sure why people are so quick to become indebted to the government. The only thing I can think of is pure laziness and the complete inability to provide for themselves. The latter is how government institutions like their citizens, it helps them maintain power. When Americans can do for themselves, provide for themselves and figure out clever ways around life’s obstacles they clearly no longer need the government and her politicians to play nanny.

I suppose if Big Government was giving me housing vouchers, food stamps, medicaid, childcare vouchers, Obamacare and free birth control – and I became wholly dependent on these items to live – I would be afraid to lose them and vote for whatever politician told me they were going to fight to keep my subsidies in place.

And lastly… free education. You get what you pay for.

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