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.
Congressional Budget Office report in February projects that Obamacare will shrink the American economy by 2.5 million jobs. (comments)
Limiting the amount of funds that free citizens can contribute stifles competition and protects incumbents. (comments)
Liberal code word for 'racist': someone like Paul Ryan, who wants to make Americans better off by giving them freedom, choice, responsibility, and less government. (comments)
Real political leadership means pushing public opinion toward one's conviction of what is right. (comments)
My colleagues find in their investigations around the nation that Kermit Gosnell was by no means one of a kind. (comments)
When Mitch McConnell and Republicans controlled the House, Senate and White House, government grew. (comments)
The "gay rights" crusade is not about a struggle for justice but rather it is a cultural war. (comments)
It is not accident that as values collapsed, as family disintegrated, the welfare state, big government, has grown and taken its place. (comments)
If the debt ceiling can be routinely raised simply by the president asking that it be done, why have it at all? (comments)
After the Citizens United decision, the president himself weighed in, expressing his outrage about the decision, indicating his intent to "develop a forceful response to this decision." (comments)
These wonderful new retirement accounts will receive bonds from the U.S. Government. And who guarantees them? (comments)
The owners of Hobby Lobby, the Green family, are Christians who cannot violate their religious beliefs by being complicit in the destruction of human-life, at any stage. (comments)
In 2013, 48 percent identify as "pro-life" and 45 percent as "pro-choice." (comments)
Politics and political rhetoric is no substitute for personal morality. (comments)
So far, providing "free" government health care through Medicaid has been attracting far more new enrollees than individuals signing up on the exchanges. (comments)
When most Americans feel the biggest threat facing us is big government, yet they do not want to take on the biggest factors driving the growth of government, we have got a problem. (comments)
Is A&E's problem that there are still Americans who believe there is something called sin? (comments)
Americans now in their forties and younger, who will be retiring in 20 years or more, will receive only 75 percent of their promised benefits. (comments)
The things that increase the likelihood of improving one's life are the very things the President and his liberal friends fight. (comments)
Obamacare was never primarily about getting the best, most affordable health care to Americans. (comments)