As the Supreme Court starts its three-day marathon Monday to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the health care law known as "Obamacare," let's be clear about the justices' challenge, and ours.
The challenge before the court, a challenge it has often not lived up to, is to keep perspective that applying our constitution is not about splitting hairs about the meaning of words in order to further a personal agenda. It's about applying, in good faith, the principles that define this country and assuring that our government operates in a fashion consistent with those principles.
There is no technical substitute for common sense. And clever people can always use words to overpower less clever people. Cleverness should serve principle, not vice versa.
Let's recall the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857, when the Supreme Court decisively ruled 7-2 that slaves in America were property no different than wagons or cattle and could never be treated, under the U.S. Constitution, as citizens.
This in a nation founded under the principle that it is self-evident "that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
We confront today new, energetic efforts to undermine the principles upon which this nation stands.
Demonstrations are taking place nationwide to drive home to the American people, and one hopes to the nine Supreme Court justices, that Obamacare -- passed in 2010 through procedural gymnastics and without a single Republican vote -- blatantly violates our core principles of human liberty.
One wave of protest in which I am taking part, giving a keynote address in Washington, D.C., focuses on the violation of religious liberty by applying the employer mandate to provide "free" contraceptives, sterilization and abortion pills as part of health insurance.
Specifically, how can anyone who cares about fidelity to the principles of our Declaration of Independence fathom an America in which government forces religious institutions to violate their religious convictions or pay a fine?
An America in which Catholic organizations, or any religious organizations, are forced to finance the very behavior prohibited by their religion is a different America than originally founded and that the Constitution was written to preserve and secure.
No clear, honest reasoning can conclude that among the rights with which we are endowed by our Creator is a right to use government to force third parties to pay for the contraceptives of others -- particularly if this violates a third party's religious convictions.
President Barack Obama and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are comfortable taking license to violate individual freedom and conscience if they think it will cut health care costs. And in their logic, contraceptives are cheaper than babies.
I'm reminded of Pharoah's mandate to control the Israelites, ordering that midwives kill all newly born males.
Consider the following recent posting by Gallup:
"Research conducted by Gallup, as well as the research of others in recent years, confirms that religiousness -- usually defined by frequent religious service attendance and importance of religion in one's daily life -- positively correlates with indicators of emotional and physical well-being. People in the U.S. who are the most religious have less worry, less anger and less stress, and are happier. They are less likely to have been diagnosed as depressed, evaluate their life better, eat healthier, smoke less, and report better physical health. These relationships hold up even after controlling for demographic and geographic variables."
How about government mandating lower insurance premiums for those who attend church weekly?
This country is about freedom. When we lose it, we lose our country. This is what the Supreme Court should be thinking about when it hears the arguments on Obamacare.
Obamacare was never primarily about getting the best, most affordable health care to Americans. (comments)
Anyone who knows just a little bit of history knew from the day President Obama signed this law in 2010 that what is happening today was inevitable. (comments)
He has demonstrated that his own political calculations are more important to him than his party or his nation. (comments)
The Republican Party still has not learned lessons necessary to reverse setbacks of recent years. (comments)
Both are living examples that personal success is not about government programs but about taking personal responsibility. (comments)
Because fewer are working for every retiree, our taxation nowhere near covers what the requirements for Social Security and Medicare will soon be. (comments)
Americans may have different opinions about what is wrong with the country. But there is plenty of agreement that the patient is sick. (comments)
The rate of child poverty in 2009 was 11 percent in homes with married parents and 44.3 percent in homes headed by single mothers. (comments)
Our president refuses to sit down and negotiate with Republicans who are constitutionally representing popular sentiment. (comments)
Big business, unions and Congress are getting themselves exempted out of Obamacare, ready to leave the rest of country to be shepherded into socialized medicine. (comments)
Only in Washington is it considered abnormal and obstructionist for a member of Congress to ring the alarm about the loss of freedom in America. (comments)
This president not only sits by and allows wanton murder of unborn children. He supports and endorses it. (comments)
We should wonder how we have so many discussions about freedom and so few about individual free choice and personal responsibility... (comments)
Fifty years after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, isn't it time for some new thinking? (comments)
The liberals who control the event have little interest in serious thought about why there have been failures. (comments)
It is high time that the black pastor, rather than the black politician, return to leadership in black American life. (comments)
Where is the money going to come from to pay for all the subsidized purchases of government insurance? (comments)
The Gosnell trial showed the nation that in America today, we have abortion factories where live children are being killed. (comments)
As the new American oil boom attests, it is freedom and capitalism that releases the human spirit, taps human creativity and produces prosperity that could never come from any government planner. (comments)
Politicians would rather have no new jobs at $12.50 per hour than 900 new jobs at $10 per hour. (comments)