Thursday, July 17, 2014

Invoking JFK on Religious Liberty

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling in Hobby Lobby (2014) which allowed closely held corporations to follow deeply held religious tenets and not pay for abortifacients which kill human life, the United States Senate considered S. 2578, the so called "Protect Womens' Health From Corporate Interference Bill".

One of the more poignant speeches during the Senate floor debate was by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).  Cruz observed that the practical effect of S. 2578 would gut the Free Exercise of Religion clause from the First Amendment of the Constitution and impose federal will upon all 50 states through the supremacy clause. 

To bolster his argument, Senator Cruz concluded his speech by boldly invoking John F. Kennedy's quote on religious liberty to condemn so called "faith fines". 

Seasoned political junkies realize that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brought S. 2578 to a vote as a cheap political stunt which had no actual chance of passage but would gin up a liberal base through identity politics and scare tactic campaigns during a tough election cycle.  While the bill won the votes of all Democrat Senators and a few RINO Republicans (Murkowski, Kirk, and Collins), it failed the cloture vote 56-43, with the Senate Majority Leader switching sides for the ability to vote on it again later.

While this vote on S. 2578 was doomed for legislative failure is instructive.  Senate Democrats seem to care more about partisan politics and elections than respecting Federalism, the First Amendment and Religious Liberty. Cruz quoting JFK spotlights the progress (and arguably the devolution) of the modern Democrat party.  And the episode shows how Christianity is endangered even in America,

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