The following comes from a Mar. 20 opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times.
For decades, liberals wielded the 1st Amendment to protect antiwar activists, civil rights protesters and government whistle-blowers.
These days, however, the Constitution’s protection for free speech and religious liberty has become the weapon of choice for conservatives.
This year’s Supreme Court term features an unusual array of potentially powerful 1st Amendment claims, all of them coming from groups on the right.
And in nearly every case, liberal groups — often in alliance with the Obama administration — are taking the opposing side, supporting state and federal laws that have come under attack for infringing upon the rights of conservatives.
The free-speech challenges include cases on campaign contribution limits, no-protest zones in front of abortion clinics and mandatory union dues for public employees.
At the same time, devout Christian employers are claiming their religious liberty should entitle them to an exemption from a provision in President Obama’s healthcare law requiring that full contraceptive coverage be offered to female employees.
And waiting on deck is a free-speech appeal from a Christian photography company challenging a New Mexico state law that bars businesses from discriminating against gays and lesbians.
Conservatives and libertarians say the role reversal at the high court reflects a larger shift in political alliances and attitudes toward government.
“The progressive mind-set sees government as a force for good,” said Ilya Shapiro, a lawyer for the libertarian Cato Institute. So, increasingly, “the energy behind those who are battling with the government” comes from libertarians and conservatives.
“This is a real trend over several years,” said Washington attorney Michael Carvin, a staunch conservative who led the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act. “The liberals are in favor of an expansive federal government, and the conservatives are making the arguments for individual autonomy on speech and religion.”
To read the entire piece, click here.
Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin refused to photograph a lesbian couple in New Mexico
Because we Catholics have not prayed, especially the daily Rosary, we are being punished. Marxism and communism have taken over our nation and our society without firing a shot. Our freedoms and our liberties are vanishing, mainly because we are too lazy to stand up and fight. Many pundits say it is almost to late, but I know one thing for certain, unless America returns to God immediately, then it is all over for the United States. Slowly but surely in the 60’s things were changing, and now we have a whole different society where black is white and good is evil. As the Toyota slogan went, ‘You asked for it, you got it!’ America has become a source of evil because it no longer worships God, and it no longer respects life and the natural law. Our freedoms and our liberties are gone because we did not think they were worth fighting for. Freedom is not free, but because we expect the government to give us everything, they are now giving us nothing. Our Lady of Fatima said that nations would be wiped out, and that is what is happening to the United States of America, right before our very eyes.
America, in its post-revolutionary modern form, embraces individual freedom and the full constitution only in limited ways, and then usually to justify “progressive” decisions. But, this country was not founded, ever, on the belief in powerful, central government. Alex de Tocqueville, in “Democracy in America,” spoke of the “tyranny of the majority,” to explain the already then-evident absence of individualism: “[t]he authority of the majority is so absolute and so irresistable that a man must give up his rights as a citizen, and almost abjure his quality as a human being, if he intends to stray away from the track it lays down.” (Ch. XV, Part II.) Compare this concern with the statement of Harvard student Sandra Korn, “When a academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue.” Attacks on any form of Catholic or Christian opinion is seen by the Left as not protected by the constitution, because they do not believe in views of the individual, only the collective. In the Church, this is more than evident: (1) Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate; (2) Bishop Olsen slamming the TLM at Fisher-More College; and (3) in the UK, Bishop Campbell demanding a deacon blogger stop publishing.
Most public universities like the University of California are safe havens for Leftist professors and administrators who demand tolerance except when it comes to views they do not share.
As Michelle Obama recently stated to the Stanford Center students in Peking:
“when it comes to expressing yourself freely, and worshiping as you choose, and having open access to information–we believe those are universal rights that are the birthright of every person on this planet.”
Now if only she truly meat this for those who hold a Non-Left opinion!
I believe that all privately-owned businesses in America, should be protected by law, to use their own discretion, to serve whom they please! With absolutely no requirements to give any explanation, to those whom they refuse service to– except, they should be polite, when saying “no!” One can say, “I’m sorry, but at this time, we cannot fulfill your needs,” or something like that, for example. Or else, one can choose to display a set of requirements, for service. For example, one can say, “We are a Christian company, and run our business by Christian beliefs. Closed on Sundays.” Or, “We are a Jewish business, kosher food only, closed Fridays, Saturdays, and all Jewish holy days.” Or, “We are a Mormon business, no coffee served, no smoking, no drinking.” Or, “Our restaurant requires formal dress.” Or, “Our restaurant has the right to refuse service to anyone. No shirt, no shoes, no service.” (i.e, no hippies!) Or, “We are a Christian Wedding company. Traditional Christian marriages only.” Or, for a hotel, “We serve singles, families, and Traditional Married couples only. No “adult” tv. Christian owned and operated.” The list could go on and on! America is so badly off-track, with moral reasoning, that good, decent people have to live in fear and anguish! This makes no sense! WHY does this country want to just sit down, since the 1960s, and be ruled by a bunch of mindless, ignorant, immoral, barbaric, youthful, stupid, worthless, filthy “liberals” and hippies?? No adult, mature thinking, has happened in this country, since the 1960s “hippie revolution!” Our country is now so COWARDLY!! Our churches all desperately need to have the guts to teach Christ’s Truth, with NO APOLOGY and NO COMPROMISE– and once again, shape America into a good and decent Nation! Otherwise, all is lost!
Yes, and by your way of thinking, the Woolworth lunch counter was just fine. Rosa Parks should have been forced to sit in the back of the bus, and “no coloreds” signs should still be posted all about. Because, you know, God did separate the races with oceans, so surely he must want the races not to mingle.
No, racial discrimination is NOT CHRISTIAN! No decent American, since 0our country’s founding, would believe in, or accept, racial discrimination! Our Church also does not believe in, or accept, racial discrimination! You did not read me correctly, did you??
I most certainly did read you correctly, Lina Maria. You said a “all privately-owned businesses in America, should be protected by law, to use their own discretion, to serve whom they please! With absolutely no requirements to give any explanation”.
And then you say that racism isn’t Christian, and while I agree with you there, Christianity was used to keep blacks away from lunch counters, water fountains, schools, and busses. And if those racists could use your belief that business owners should be able to serve whom they please with no requirements to give any explanation.
So are you saying that governments were wrong to segregate lunch counters and other places of public accommodation or not? Because your post clearly says that government was wrong then.
No, you still did not read me correctly! I did not grow up in the South, where discrimination of people of color was a horrible reality, at one time. This was unChristian! I grew up in a small immigrant town near a large city, with immigrants of many countries! I and many others, were first or second-generation Americans! In a Nation with a good Judeao-Christian foundation, people who run businesses should be free to do business the way they feel is right– yet, that also means, they should be educated in a good, solid, mature Judaeo-Christian way of life , abide by a good Code of Ethics– and NOT HAVE CUSTOMERS ABUSE THEM, WITH UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR!!
Linda Maria, just because you would not discriminate against people of color doesn’t mean other people won’t. I have been left standing at counters being ignored-one was racial, some were socio-economic or some other snooty garbage (remember Pretty Woman when they wouldn’t help her in the store?) People do that because they are bad people. If you want to support people being rude, well, you are entitled to your opinion. I support people not having to take part in activities which bother their conscience, but not people just being mean.
The point you are missing Linda is that what a person believes is “Christian” or “unChristian” is up to the individual. And because you say that business owners are accountable only to themselves, Christians everywhere are free to discriminate against whomever they believe are not worthy of service. You are saying that Woolworths had every legal right to not serve blacks at the lunch counter, and government should have had no role in forcing them to abandon that practice.
YFC makes a valid point. Why would anyone assume that such a law would only pertain to Christian / religious values? I’m sorry, if you speak Spanish, we cannot fulfill your needs. I’m sorry, if you’re menstruating, we cannot fulfill your needs. I’m sorry, if you have more than two children, we cannot fulfill your needs. I’m sorry, if you’re Catholic, we cannot fulfill your needs. … “With absolutely no requirements to give any explanation, to those whom they refuse service to– except, they should be polite, when saying “no!” ” Who would be happy with that?
“Your Fellow Catholic”: Your comments are so wrongly stated, so full of People Magazine logic and thought. “Linda Maria” is largely correct in her opinion, although that view is one of strong individualism, the kind that is not tolerated much anymore in America. A business is owned by people, and here, people have the right to be bigoted, to be discriminatory, to be exclusionary — all as principles. The slippery slope of Brown v. Brd of Education, Loving v. Virginia, Reitman v. Mulkey, and many other “discrimination” cases is that — years later — you get the right to homosexual sex, the right to abortion, and many other rights created by the constructs, the “penumbra” of rights often seen by judges “emanating” from the constitution. Should people treat everyone as their brother? Of course. Is discrimination based on race a bad thing? Of course. But, now we have an unrestrained judiciary that is stoked up on its authority — from where? — to act as a unelected lawmaker in America. People learn to love other people, not have it directed at them. What America needs is debate and living consistent with Judeo-Christian beliefs. Soon we will not be able to stop demands that we pay for everything, including abortion-inducing drugs and birth control pills. What? That day is here already?? No – the Hobby Lobby case is easy. A pagan society and their (largely) irreligious judges are making it difficult. Very soon the First Amendment will be explained away, too. As Sandra Korn said, let’s stop everything that frustrates us (the few decisionmakers) from obtaining “justice.”
Again…evildoers will use religion and especially Christianity to rationalize a whole host of diabolic activities, i.e. slavery, bigotry, unjust war, social injustice and inhumanity of every stripe…even “grave” sacrilege!…anyone who regularly post’s on a conservative Catholic blog and champion’s homosexual activity/behavior, has some serious soul searching to address…this is Lent… a most perfect time to reflect on the virtue of self denial, practice it…and offer it up as a small sacrifice for the suffering soul’s in Purgatory…sodomites must turn away from this gravely sinful and disordered activity…we all know the wages of sin are death…pray that our sinfulness does not lead to “eternal separation and suffering”, as the fires of Gehenna are immeasurably hotter and more destructive than the worst conflagration here on Earth…Pray your Rosary, Station’s of the Cross, meditate daily on the Passion of Our Lord…and make a good sacramental confession…and always have custody of the eyes…
Custody of the eyes is getting more and more difficult when women prance around shopping malls dressed more and more like common Street Walkers with much of their wares hanging out!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Michael Arata has written an excellent essay that was published (wonder or wonders) in the Sunday Contra Costa Times under the headline:
” Free Speech Must Go Two Ways”
I couldn’t find a copy on line – yet (*there may be a time lag before it hits the times net) but I most strongly suggest this well written and insightful work be published in full on CCD.
I will look for a link later in the week – but it anybody on the inside has a copy already, this is a great place to post it.
And BRAVO Michael Arata!!