If you are in favor of this mandate — which compels all employers to pay, through an insurance company, for contraception coverage even when the employer considers it religiously objectionable — you do not give the devil the benefit of the Constitution.
I understand this impulse but for the clear objection: What then when the devil turns round on you?
If you don’t care for freedom of religion, consider that leaving undefended any point of the Bill of Rights is a dangerous precedent. If you don’t care for the Bill of Rights, I wonder with what bread and circuses we’ll ignore the guillotine. Yes, I liken this rope about our necks to be more of a guillotine; no, I do not mean this in a silly, chest-pounding, partisan way.
But before I explain why, I note that, in perhaps a routine pose that I hope is not its most substantial defense, the Obama administration does not yet argue that this action is Constitutional; the Department of Justice — by the by, not consulted — filed a motion to dismiss, instead arguing that the issue is not ripe. This amounts to saying: “No harm yet, therefore no foul.”
Ripeness is valid in the abstract, but, albeit to a man lay to his lawyer as much as his priest, it is absurd in this instance. This rule already on the books is not ripe? When no real movement to change them has been made, it is not ripe? When objections raised months ago were all but ignored, it is not ripe? On the kind of issue where the Court applies the highest standard, a strict scrutiny, it is not ripe? If there is no precedent, maybe it’s time for one. If there is differing precedent, I think it’s time to fix it.
This is why I say it seems our necks are in a guillotine, fully constructed and set to go off in a year; the only movement away from the current mandate since September has been coyly rhetorical. The Administration has not backed off, de jure or de facto. I do not see our necks having left the guillotine, and I do not see the government deconstructing the guillotine, and I do not see a compelling government interest for our heads to be severed off.
In case you haven’t signed the petition to reign in the HHS Mandate, here it is. The White House closes signatures on official White House petitions when they issue a response, so the White House petition is artificially capped at 29,000 or so. We need an external petition; we have one.
I’ll note that signatories are not bound together by agreement on the rightness or wrongness of contraception but by the agreement that a president should not compel any action against firm conscience, especially when it comes to religious matters. (Of course, it helps that this particular doctrine is more ancient than the country ours declared independence from.)
If you have any objections, I am happy to answer them. I am Christian, which is to say I am bound to literally worship Truth, which is to say I have a great interest in not lying or spreading lies. Forward this message as you will, or respond.