“We must obey God rather than men!”—Acts 5:29
Now that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied Hobby Lobby’s application for an emergency injunction protecting them from Obamacare’s HHS Mandate on abortion and birth control, Hobby Lobby has decided to defy the federal government to remain true to their religious beliefs, at enormous risk and financial cost.
Hobby Lobby is wholly owned and controlled by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. The Greens are committed to running their business in accordance with their Christian faith, believing that God wants them to conduct their professional business in accordance with the family’s understanding of the Bible. Hobby Lobby’s mission statement includes, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company … consistent with Biblical principles.”
The HHS Mandate goes into effect for Hobby Lobby on Jan. 1, 2013. The Greens correctly understand that some of the drugs the HHS Mandate requires them to cover at no cost in their healthcare plans cause abortions.
Today Hobby Lobby announced that they will not comply with this mandate to become complicit in abortion, which the Greens believe ends an innocent human life. Given Hobby Lobby’s size (it has 572 stores employing more than 13,000 people), by violating the HHS Mandate, it will be subject to over $1.3 million in fines per day. That means over $40 million in fines in January alone. If their case takes another ten months to get before the Supreme Court—which would be the earliest it could get there under the normal order of business—the company would incur almost a half-billion dollars in fines. And then of course the Supreme Court would have to write an opinion in what would likely be a split decision with dissenters, which could easily take four or six months and include hundreds of millions of dollars in additional penalties.
This is civil disobedience, consistent with America’s highest traditions when moral issues are at stake. The Greens are a law-abiding family. They have no desire to defy their own government. But as the Founders launched the American Revolution because they believed the British government was violating their rights, the Greens believe that President Barack Obama and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are commanding the Greens to sin against God, and that no government has the lawful authority to do so.
The Christian tradition of defying government commands to do something wrong goes back to the very birth of Christianity. When the apostles were ordered not to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone, the Book of Acts records: “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.’”
Eleven of the twelve apostles—including Peter—would lose their lives for the sake of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ; only the apostle John died of old age. They were determined to obey God’s will at all costs.
This issue of civil disobedience is never to be undertaken lightly. The Bible teaches Christians to submit to all legitimate governmental authority (e.g., Romans 13:1), and so a person can only disobey the government when there is no other way to obey God.
But here in America, the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and in its First Amendment it protects against a government establishment of an official religion and separately protects the free exercise of religion. On top of that, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) to specifically add an additional layer of protection against government actions that violate a person’s religious beliefs.
The HHS Mandate is a gross violation of the religious beliefs of the Green family. The issue before the courts here is whether the Greens religious-liberty rights include running their secular, for-profit business consistent with their religious beliefs. In other words, is religious liberty just what you do in church on a Sunday morning, or does it include what you do during the week at your job?
The Greens are now putting their fortunes on the line to do what they believe is right. The courts should side with them, affirming a broad scope of religious liberty under the Constitution and RFRA. And the Supreme Court should resolve this matter with dispatch in their favor.
Millions of Christians across the country feel exactly the same way as the Greens. The Obama administration has issued a statist command that is a declaration of war on people of faith who object to abortion, and civil disobedience could break out all over the country unless the courts set this matter right—and quickly.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge Monday rejected Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.'s request to block part of the federal health care overhaul that requires the arts and craft supply company to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.
In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health care law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives the company's Christian owners consider objectionable.
The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates the owners' religious beliefs. The owners contend the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.
At a hearing earlier this month, a government lawyer said the drugs do not cause abortions and that the U.S. has a compelling interest in mandating insurance coverage for them.
In his ruling denying Hobby Lobby's request for an injunction, Heaton said that while churches and other religious organizations have been granted constitutional protection from the birth-control provisions, "Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations."
"Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion," the ruling said.Read this story at news.yahoo.com ...
The New American William F. Jasper
Get set for the Obama administration’s post-election tsunami of business-killing, job-killing, economy-killing federal regulations. It’s already begun. Take a look at www.regulations.gov, the administration’s regulatory website. The home page informs us that in the last 90 days, the administration has posted 5,934 new regulations.
Yes, our federal bureaucrats have been very diligent. The above-mentioned website informs us of their daily productivity of regulations over the past 90 days:
Last 3 Days (274)
Last 7 Days (371)
Last 15 Days (826)
Last 30 Days (1,915)
Last 90 Days (5,934)
How will these regulations affect you, your family, your job, business, ranch, or farm? You may not have federal SWAT teams descend upon you, as has happened to dairy farmers and natural food store operators who dared to sell raw milk products not approved by the federal Food & Drug Administration (see here
) or the hundreds of other Americans subjected to Gestapo-type treatment
for running afoul of the volumes of murky and convoluted regulations that fill the 169,301 pages
of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) published in the Federal Register
. However, even if your home, farm or business is not personally “visited” by agents of the FDA, EPA, OSHA, SEC, or any of the myriad other federal agencies, you will pay a huge price nonetheless, both in economic costs and in loss of freedoms.
A cost analysis by the Small Business Administration in 2008 found that the cost to our national economy of compliance with federal regulations was an astronomical $1.75 trillion
That was in 2008. The cost, of course, has escalated dramatically in the four years since that study was conducted. We should note also that the 169,301 pages of federal regulations referenced above covers only those promulgated through 2011; it does not include thousands of pages added in 2012. Nor does it include the thousands of pages that are expected to soon be dumped into the pipeline by bureaucrats who had been instructed to hold off until after the election.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2011 the Code of Federal Regulations increased by 11,327 pages — a 7.4-percent increase. The regulatory burden is now a crushing weight on the entire economy, a hidden tax which is equivalent to roughly half the current federal spending and equal to the entire federal budget of the late 1990s.
A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce entitled Project No Project
found that a broad range of energy projects “are being stalled, stopped, or outright killed nationwide due to a broken permitting process and a system that allows nearly limitless opportunities for opponents of development to raise challenge after challenge.”
The impact has been truly mind-boggling. The Chamber of Commerce study reported:
In total, the 351 projects identified in the Project No Project inventory could have produced a $1.1-trillion boost to the economy and created 1.9 million jobs annually during the projected seven years of construction. Moreover, these facilities, once constructed, would have continued to generate jobs, because they would have operated for years or even decades.
That’s nearly two million jobs annually, just in the energy sector, that are being killed by the federal regulatory straitjacket.
In an op-ed in the Washington Post
on November 13, attorney Keith A. Ashmus noted
that the regulatory cliff rivals the fiscal cliff among small business owners’ biggest concerns. And it is almost certain to get worse, if Team Obama has its way.
“Following [Alleged] President Obama’s reelection and the continuation of the current majorities in the House and Senate, we can expect continued difficulty moving initiatives forward legislatively in Washington,” noted Mr. Ashmus. “That means more regulatory activity, unrestrained by the any concerns about the president’s reelection. The Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board are likely to go after employers, large and small, with regulations that make it more difficult to manage workforces and obtain outside help understanding the legal requirements concerning unions.” Obama Regulatory Plan: Sly, Not Shy
Not that [Alleged] President Obama has been shy about using executive branch regulations to get the Big Government programs he has been unable to get passed legislatively. In fact, following the 2010 congressional elections, in which the Democrats suffered historic losses in the House of Representatives, the Obama White House indicated it was going to move ahead with its agenda by executive fiat. The New American
reported on this unconstitutional regulatory usurpation plan at the time. (See Obama Eyes "Executive Orders" to Circumvent Congress
However, with the economy imploding, unemployment skyrocketing, and with eyes fixed firmly on the 2012 presidential election, President Obama began a major effort, in 2011, to make it appear he was sensitive to the needs of job producers, especially stressing his administration’s commitment to easing the regulatory red tape that is so fatal to small and medium businesses that create most of our jobs.
Amid great fanfare, on January 18, 2011, [Alleged] President Obama signed “Executive Order 13563 — Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.”Read this story at thenewamerican.com ...
Dr. David M. Berman
As we look at the polls we see a very interesting stat. Almost 50% of Americans think Obama is doing a good job. Obama is doing better than any Republican could have imagined. I mean let’s look at the facts;
1) 6 trillion in new debt under Obama.
2) Real unemployment around 17 %.
3) In minorities communities’ unemployment is higher than whites.
4) Gas prices up over 100%.
5) Food prices up twice the non-food/energy inflation index.
6) Massive power grab of healthcare.
7) Illegal takeover of General Motors.
8) Almost a billion in loan guarantees given to Obama’s “green energy” buddies who raised money for his campaign. Those companies bankrupt and paid for by tax payers.
9) Housing barely stabilizing in some places while in others still falling.
10) A failed “stimulus” bill in which even Obama admits that his “shovel ready” jobs were “not so shovel ready.”
11) Heavy job killing regulations on business.
I could go on but you get the point. His record is abysmal and yet, almost half the country rates him as doing a “good job.” Why would that be? Well it is not really hard to understand if you look at the transformation of our culture from a culture of personal effort, personal return, personal responsibility, and personal compassion for others, to a culture of selfishness, entitlement, envy, covetousness, and the collectivist mind set. This transformation has been happening since FDR but has been on steroids under Barack Obama. He has masterfully framed the same old tired, worn out class warfare Marxist lie. He has convinced about half the country that the rich are the enemies of liberty and that the government is the engine of prosperity.
Obama has the “it factor” when it comes to making the old Bolshevik case against the “rich.” The rich are tyrants who have taken advantage of the workers and got their money through abuse and must be made to “pay their fair share.” Class warfare appeals to the base sinful nature of man in that is pulls out the inner selfishness. Whipping up the masses against those who have took risks, and made profits is an excellent way to shift the blame of failed government policies to those who overcame the obstacles and succeeded financially. I mean come on, who wants to blame themselves for not doing well in school, not being smart with their own money, charging up credit cards, and buying houses they could not afford? Who wants to blame themselves for failure? It is much easier to blame the top 10% of the rich guys because after all they are “only” paying 71% of all federal income taxes (source http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/top10-percent-income-earners)
Obama has succeeded in moving the Marxist revival forward. Some principles of communism are:
1) Central control of banking.
2) Abolishment of personal property.
3) Abolishment of inheritance.
4) Government ownership of factories.
5) Central control of all communications.
6) Government control of transportation.
7) Government control of healthcare.
8) Total education run by and paid for by the central government.
9) The abolishment of all market forces concerning wages and commodities.
10) The total abolishment of free speech.
11) The elimination of citizen gun rights.
These tenets of the Marxist evil are being implemented on America. Starting with the Federal Reserve centralized control of the monetary system, all the way to Obamacare, the takeover of GM, the call for more government paid education, and on and on. Obama is a Marxist. There can be no doubt to anyone who has their eyes open. Bill O’Reilly continually says “no one can know for sure if Obama is a socialist.” Bill O’Reilly has to know that Obama is but he seems scared to say so. What more evidence does he need?
In 1998 Obama said “"I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution – because I actually believe in some redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot."
Obama shows his understanding and point of view in this statement. His default position is that those who are not doing well did not have a fair shot. It has nothing to do with each person’s ability, ambition, risk taking but rather unfairness. In fact, in 2008 Charlie Gibson (who is no conservative) explained to Obama that lowering the long term capital gains tax actually brought more money into the government due to expanded economic activity. Obama did not dispute that since the numbers were clear. His answer to Charlie Gibson?...”It’s a matter of fairness.” As with all Marxists, they want all to be equal but they exempt themselves from their so called “equality.” Obama, and his Democrat goons in Congress exempted themselves for Obamacare. It’s the same old thing. Tyranny always protects its leaders.
Obamanomics is really just warmed over Marxism and it will fail in the long run. In the short run it has succeeded. It has not succeeded economically since it never does. However it has succeeded in convincing half the country that Marxist statist rhetoric is indeed speaking the truth. In the words of P.T. Barnum “there is a sucker born every minute.”
Dr. David M. Berman
Senior Pastor, Author.
211 Whitcomb Road
P.O. Box 10357
Swanzey, NH. 03446
September 26, 2012
By Doug Book
A ruling handed down on September 13th by the D.C. District Federal Court has finally made clear what many have known for years–that the Obama Administration’s Iran policy was initiated and advanced by a group with illicit, hidden ties to the Iranian Regime and financed by the U.S./Israel- hating George Soros.
In 2009, Barack Obama turned over virtually all responsibility and authority for foreign policy negotiations with Iran to Trita Parsi and his National Iranian American Council (NIAC). Founded by Parsi in 2003, the Washington-based NIAC is a powerful lobbying group that is “…widely considered the de facto lobby for the Iranian Regime in America.”
Like too many organizations that claim to represent the best interests of the nation of Iran and Iranian-Americans, the NIAC is tightly connected with and known to be funded at least in part by the George Soros empire. Small wonder NIAC advice on dealing with Iran was replete with claims that Israeli propaganda was responsible for the negative image imposed on otherwise peace-loving, misunderstood Iranian mullahs. Not exactly a friend of Israel is George Soros.
And how did the reputedly “non-partisan” NIAC suggest the Obama Administration proceed with negotiations? Simple. The Council “…opposes sanctions on Iran, soft-pedals any controversial events in Iran, and counsels “patience” regarding Iran’s stance towards its nuclear program.”
What better way for NIAC representatives to serve their hidden masters in Tehran than by promoting a policy of “peaceful coexistence” between the US and Iran. And to the NIAC, peaceful coexistence meant “…acceptance of [the] Iranian government, accepting Iranian hegemony in the Gulf and its place in other parts of the Middle East, removal of sanctions and pressure against Iran, abandon of assistance to the Iranian people’s resistance against the regime and etc.”
For the U.S., the consequences of this game of intrigue played by the Administration’s hand-picked, Iranian representatives are summed up in this statement by Barack Obama: “I’ve made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with Iran’s affairs.” And indeed, this is the path Barack Obama has followed. Not exactly reassuring words from a president charged with keeping the American public safe from a nuclear-bound administration of religious fanatics dedicated to our demise. Read this story at westernjournalism.com ...
Instapundit heads the piece “Why Barack Obama Should Resign
.” That’s a good title. The column might also be titled, “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.” I remember a line from the philosopher David Hume that Hayek used as an epigraph to The Road to Serfdom.
“It is seldom,” said Hume, “that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” There’s the innocent seeming accommodation here, the turning a blind eye to official violations of the law there, and, bang, before you can say Saul Alinsky, people are being rounded up at midnight by brownshirted men for making a movie that embarrasses El Presidente.
In case you think that is a baseless exaggeration by a knuckle-dragging, right-wing hater, take a look at the photo:
By way of explication, Glenn Reynolds quotes the L.A. Times: “Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world.”
Got that? The chap made a movie. (He may also have violated probation, but that herring is red, Comrade.) As Glenn observes, “By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. . . . It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.”
Yep. And he should resign. And, as Glenn further observes, he surely won’t. But the people of the United States, Democrat as well as Republican, should turn him out of office ignominiously in November.
moran.senate.gov WASHINGTON, D.C.
– U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) today led 50 senators in expressing grave concern about the dangers posed to Americans’ Second Amendment rights by the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty. The 51 senators notified [Alleged] President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton of their intent to oppose ratification of an Arms Trade Treaty that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding American gun owners. The opposition is strong enough to block the treaty from Senate passage, as treaties submitted to the U.S. Senate require approval of two-thirds of Senators present to be ratified.
In the letter, the senators wrote: “As the treaty process continues, we strongly encourage your administration not only to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership, but to ensure – if necessary, by breaking consensus at the July conference – that the treaty will explicitly recognize the legitimacy of lawful activities associated with firearms, including but not limited to the right of self-defense. As members of the United States Senate, we will oppose the ratification of any Arms Trade Treaty that falls short of this standard.”
“Our country’s sovereignty and the rights of American citizens must not be infringed upon by the United Nations,” Sen. Moran said. “Today, the Senate sends a powerful message to the Obama Administration: an Arms Trade Treaty that does not protect ownership of civilian firearms will fail in the Senate. Our firearm freedoms are not negotiable.”
“The NRA, our four million members and the tens of millions of law-abiding Americans who own firearms will never surrender our right to keep and bear arms to the United Nations,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “That is why the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been met with the full opposition of the NRA. We are grateful for the efforts of these senators, led by Senator Jerry Moran, to oppose this encroachment of international tyranny.”
The U.N. conference on the Arms Trade Treaty is taking place this week in New York City. In October of 2009 at the U.N. General Assembly, the Obama Administration reversed the positions of the two previous Administrations and voted for the U.S. to participate in negotiating the Arms Trade Treaty, purportedly to establish “common international standards for the import, export, and transfer of conventional arms.” However, by threatening to include civilian firearms within its scope, the Arms Trade Treaty could restrict the lawful private ownership of firearms in the United States.
The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Max Baucus (D-MT), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mark Begich (D-AK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bob Casey (D-PA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Mike Lee (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jon Tester (D-MT), John Thune (R-SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA), David Vitter (R-LA), Jim Webb (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
The full text of the signed letter is below and the PDF version can be found here.