Category Archive 'Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.'

02 Jul 2014

Some Salt in Liberals’ Hobby Lobby Wounds

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Angry Lib

Kevin D. Williamson rubs it in.

So, liberal friends and neighbors, how’s everybody liking their one-size-fits-all, federally dominated model of health care this week? A wee bit less than you were liking it Monday morning, I’d wager. I understand, completely: Most of my problems are of my own making, too, so no judgment, no gloating, no schadenfreude (okay, maybe just a taste — dang, that felt good!), because I understand how these mistakes get made. You’re naturally inclined to want to put government in charge of everything because you forget — wishful thinking, maybe? — that there are a whole lot of us knuckle-dragging right-wingers in the world, and, every now and then, we’re going to win one.

I’m trying to be charitable, here, but I really can’t see how you keep failing to learn that lesson. I remember the presidency of George W. Bush, which wasn’t that long ago, and you people went macadamias-and-almonds over a few signing statements. But then — poof! — you decided that the president could unilaterally amend federal legislation on the fly, set aside great swaths of it, and effectively have Congress deputize him to fill in the blanks on a half-finished piece of legislation passed in a frenzy. Now that that precedent has been established, I invite you to think of a Republican president in 2017 named Rick; you can pick your own surname, but I guarantee that you will not think of one that’s going to make you happy.

In the wake of the Hobby Lobby case, suddenly liberals are wising up to the fact that it’s kind of stupid to have your health insurance tied to your employer who may — get this — have a whole different set of financial incentives and values than you yourself have. That’s not just obvious — it’s John McCain obvious. I myself like Sarah Palin, but I know how you guys feel about her, so sit down for a minute and quietly chew over the fact that the guy who put Sarah Palin on the 2008 Republican ticket figured out that employer-based health insurance was a bad idea a long time before it started dawning on you guys. …

[I]f a lot of mostly voluntary participation is a good thing, then universal and mandatory participation is an excellent thing, thus the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate. But progressives are so used to getting their way in court that they sometimes forget that there are other laws, and that some of them, such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by a near-unanimous Congress and signed into law by Bill Clinton, are pretty plain. It’s hard to see how anybody familiar with both the English language and the text of the RFRA could have been surprised by the Hobby Lobby decision, but the Left was deliciously unhinged to such an extent that conservatives could very well have whiled away the afternoon mixing martinis out of their tears. (If that were the sort of people we were.) (Come to think of it . . . )

Read the whole thing.

01 Jul 2014

Liberal Reaction to Hobby Lobby Ruling

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Sir Thomas More

My pseudointellectual liberal classmates have been reacting to the Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, excusing religious employers from providing contraception through employee health insurance, with ridicule, treating the very idea of moral reservations toward contraception as bizarre, insane, and a fringe position.

But the civilization of Europe and the Modern World were actually built by people of traditional religious faith, who until very recently in overwhelming percentage believed on the basis of revealed religion that contraception was wrong. I am not myself a believer, but I differ from most of my Yale classmates in declining to believe that today’s community of fashion has arrived at some uniquely superior and sophisticated position on every issue and that anyone who disagrees is some sort of troglogyte.

Thomas Babbington Macauley was the ultimate Whig historian, but even Macauley found himself obliged to acknowledge that Modernism and Scientism are not actually competent to refute religious faith.

Natural theology, then, is not a progressive science. That knowledge of our origin and of our destiny which we derive from revelation is indeed of very different clearness, and of very different importance. But neither is revealed religion of the nature of a progressive science. All divine truth is, according to the doctrine of the Protestant churches, recorded in certain books. It is equally open to all who, in any age, can read those books; nor can all the discoveries of all the philosophers in the world add a single verse to any of those books. It is plain, therefore, that in divinity there cannot be a progress analogous to that which is constantly taking place in pharmacy, geology, and navigation. A Christian of the fifth century with a Bible is neither better nor worse situated than a Christian of the nineteenth century with a Bible, candor and natural acuteness being, of course, supposed equal. It matters not at all that the compass, printing, gunpowder, steam, gas, vaccination, and a thousand other discoveries and inventions, which were unknown in the fifth century, are familiar to the nineteenth. None of these discoveries and inventions has the smallest bearing on the question whether man is justified by faith alone, or whether the invocation of saints is an orthodox practice. It seems to us, therefore, that we have no security for the future against the prevalence of any theological error that ever has prevailed in time past among Christian men. We are confident that the world will never go back to the solar system of Ptolemy; nor is our confidence in the least shaken by the circumstance that even so great a man as Bacon rejected the theory of Galileo with scorn; for Bacon had not all the means of arriving at a sound conclusion which are within our reach, and which secure people who would not have been worthy to mend his pens from falling into his mistakes. But when we reflect that Sir Thomas More was ready to die for the doctrine of transubstantiation, we cannot but feel some doubt whether the doctrine of transubstantiation may not triumph over all opposition. More was a man of eminent talents. He had all the information on the subject that we have, or that, while the world lasts, any human being will have. The text, “This is my body,” was in his New Testament as it is in ours. The absurdity of the literal interpretation was as great and as obvious in the sixteenth century as it is now. No progress that science has made, or will make, can add to what seems to us the overwhelming force of the argument against the real presence. We are, therefore, unable to understand why what Sir Thomas More believed respecting transubstantiation may not be believed to the end of time by men equal in abilities and honesty to Sir Thomas More. But Sir Thomas More is one of the choice specimens of human wisdom and virtue; and the doctrine of transubstantiation is a kind of proof charge. A faith which stands that test will stand any test.

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