Does the administrations contraception rule violate religious freedom? We are guaranteed the freedom to practice our religion under the first amendment; which is the first article of the bill of rights. The bill of rights defines the rights of we the people, not the federal government.
The bill of rights sets clear limits on the power of the federal government, not on we the people. The first amendment reads; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
That is pretty straight forward, and contains no really complicated or obscure language. “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion….” which forbids the establishment of a state religion such as existed in England.
“……or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Congress can make no law that interferes with the free exercise of religion.
Religions have rules. The religion doesn’t poll the members of their religion to see if they agree with the rules. So the fact that many members of a particular religion may not practice a particular rule does not dismiss it. The rule exists, if the members do not practice it they are at odds with their religion. Congress cannot interfere with that rule or any other rule of that religion without violating the first amendment, and the separation of church and state principle. That would be unconstitutional, and also violate a Supreme Court precident.
Wait a minute; Congress didn’t make the contraceptive rule did it? It was the president who made the rule, so congress is off the hook. The founding fathers must have thought it was Congress who made the rules when they drew up the constitution, or they would have included the President and the Supreme Court in the legislative process too.
Let’s take a look at the powers granted the president under the constitution, and see if he can make laws or rules that demand that private enterprises like insurance companies, or religious organizations like churches can be made to provide any service, what so ever. The constitution does not permit the president to make laws or pass rules in these areas, (This link is to that section of the constitution granting presidential powers).
If the president can’t pass laws his rule doesn’t have the effect of law does it? When Congress passes a law it also provides the penalty for not obeying that particular law. If the insurance companies refuse to obey the presidents rule what can the justice department charge them with?
If the Catholic Church and the insurance companies ask the Supreme Court to rule on the president’s rule, what will his defense be?
Just glancing through the powers granted to the president by the Constitution of The United States of America, which is the operating manual of the federal government, I do not see the authority to appoint any Czars either.
The argument that his predecessor ignored the operating manual of the federal government too, does not make it permissable. This president has sworn to abide by the operating manual, the constitution.
I do see that the president has to swear to defend the constitution in his oath of office; “Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
If any of the candidate running for the office of President of the United States of America does not make preserving the constitution of the United States his true oath, and guiding principle, and does not swear to make the constitution the operating manual of the federal government he does not deserve our vote.
That is why religion was important to the founding fathers, when a man put his hand on the Bible and swore an oath, it was a holy oath sworn before his God. It carried a greater penalty than merely the weight of the law.
If our religion can be destroyed such oaths have no meaning; and morality can be determined simply by a poll of what is popular.