We saw some huge wins for life and liberty this past week. Texas governor, Rick Perry, signed into law a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks and also sets tighter restrictions on abortion clinics. Those restrictions are so tight that currently only 5 of the 42 active abortion clinics in Texas meet the standards. There are some that ask, “why not ban abortion outright?” Why 20 weeks instead of 19, 18, or 1? Why allow any abortion clinic to remain open in the state of Texas? Remember, you don’t change culture overnight. The culture of death has been working their way through society for decades one law at a time. And so it will take many years and many small victories for the culture of life to undo the damage. In the meantime, rejoice over the new lives that won’t be prematurely killed because of this new law. Let’s hear it for the culture of life!
On a related note, the court granted retailer Hobby Lobbyan injunction against the HHS Contraception Mandate. Hobby Lobby is fighting the mandate on grounds that providing abortion services as part of their health plans violates their religious beliefs. It looked like Hobby Lobby was going to face thousands of dollars in fines per day since the courts seemed to side with the Obama administration. But now the courts are going to look into the matter more carefully and while they do so Hobby Lobby won’t face any fines. The fight is just beginning, but at least it looks like there are cracks developing in the federal government’s push to trample our freedom of religion. Let’s hear it for religious liberty!
The HHS contraception mandate is more than just a “Catholic thing” or a “pro-life thing.” It’s an assault on a fundamental constitutional freedom. Even if you aren’t religious or don’t have any strong opinions about the HHS mandate, you should still be concerned. Today it’s an assault on the freedom of religion. Tomorrow it could be the freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, freedom of speech, etc. Letting one fundamental right slide opens the door to all our freedoms becoming subject to the whims of whatever government is in power. Please read this open letter, pray and meditate about it, and please share it with your family and friends.
Hobby Lobby employs thousands of people directly, not to mention thousands more indirectly through the services they consume to stay in business (web hosting, building management, advertising, etc.). They also enable many people to make an income by selling goods created from supplies purchased at Hobby Lobby stores. As you know, the economy is very fragile right now and this country cannot afford businesses shutting their doors and laying off thousands of people. Hobby Lobby started over 40 years ago with 300 square feet of retail space and has grown to be one of the largest arts and crafts chains in the United States. This is the type of entrepreneurial spirit we should encourage in this country and look towards for making our economy stronger. And yet, your administration intends to fine them over one million dollars a day because they refuse to follow a law that violates their religious beliefs.
On January 21, you will be sworn into your second term as president. You will once again take an oath to follow and enforce the Constitution of the United States. One of the cornerstones of the Constitution is the first amendment guaranteeing the freedom of religion. Regardless of what your personal beliefs are or the beliefs of your political party, you are bound by your office to respect and defend the religious rights of all citizens. The reason why we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights is so that the personal beliefs of any one person, party, or elected governing body cannot arbitrarily alter this great country’s core principles. Our country has a strong foundation because previous leaders honoured their oath to respect our founding documents and did not try to remake the United States according to their personal beliefs.
President Obama, I urge you to reconsider the damage you are inflicting on hard working Americans by forcing them to choose between their values and their livelihood. The Green family (founders of Hobby Lobby) are not enemies of the United States and yet you choose to punish them because they will not follow your agenda. As an American, I do not appreciate or support these attacks on my fellow citizens any more than you or your family would like being forced to violate your own values by a future administration. As a Christian, you surely understand the golden rule — treat others in the way you would like to be treated. In this case, respect peoples’ religious beliefs as you would like them to respect your personal beliefs.