Explaining the 'Sacred Right of Conscience' to the Left

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  • Jerry Newcombe
    Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy Legacy Library, a spokesman and cohost of Kennedy Classics.
By Jerry Newcombe, CP Op-Ed Contributor
July 23, 2014|3:03 pm

It has been about three weeks now since the Hobby Lobby decision, and based on all the brouhaha from the left against the decision, you would think that the Supreme Court had virtually overruled the Constitution. It hasn't.

The case: Should a business be forced to provide contraceptives, including abortifacients, for their employees, even if that violates the conscience? 5 to 4 on the High Court said no.

Consider some of the fallout from this decision:

  • Democrats tried to pass a bill, which was unofficially called the "Not My Boss's Business Act," in order to overturn the Supreme Court's decision, which Harry Reid called "outrageous."
  • Because of the Court's ruling, Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader and former Speaker of the House, said, "Really, we should be afraid of this court."
  • A board member of NARAL tweeted (very crudely) that maybe women should protest against Hobby Lobby by fornicating in each of their stores. (Lifenews.com, 7/16/14).
  • Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who dissented in the Hobby Lobby case, said elsewhere, "Thinking one's religious beliefs are substantially burdened…does not make it so."
  • Jon Stewart of Comedy Central implied the decision was not based on scientific truth.
  • One liberal minister wrote to TIME magazine to remonstrate against their coverage of Hobby Lobby's CEO David Green in "an honorable light." Said the clergyman: "In my opinion, an honorable person has tolerance for other people's beliefs."

Just as the left has been so tolerant of those who refuse, for conscience's sake, to fund abortions?

Abortion is the key to understanding this controversy. There are 26 contraceptives covered by the HHS Mandate, four of which involve abortion. Those are the four that Hobby Lobby refused, for conscience sake, to cover. They still provide 22 of the 26 contraceptives for their employees through the insurance plan, but you would new know that from the hysterical rhetoric of the left.

The owners of Hobby Lobby would rather go out of business (and being fined more than a million dollars a day would force them out of business) than violate their conscience.

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Good for them. There would be no America were it not for the founding fathers who, with a firm reliance on God's help, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. They gave us a Bill of Rights guarantying us freedom of religious exercise. But many on the left seem to value the right to abortion (found nowhere in the Constitution) more than the rights actually there.

But we should not be surprised. Deception has abounded when it comes to Obamacare. There would be no HHS Mandate for abortifacient contraception if there were no Obamacare. And there would be no Obamacare if pro-life Democrats had not been given guarantees that abortion would not be covered. Obama made another Obama promise. Need I say more? "Just words."

Abortion as a political controversy is in many ways a creation of a previous Supreme Court. The decision was taken out of the hands of "We the People" and away from the text of the Constitution in 1973. Justice Byron White dissented, calling it "an act of raw judicial power."

Thankfully, a majority of Americans favor the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case, but you wouldn't necessarily know that from some of the coverage of the fallout.

Writing for Lifenews.com Steven Ertelt notes, "Forty-nine percent believe a business should be allowed to opt out of providing coverage for contraceptives if providing such health insurance coverage violates the religious beliefs of the business' owner. Thirty-nine percent disagree, while 12 percent more are undecided."

Any fair reading of our nation's founding shows that conscience rights were extremely important. For example, William Penn was the founder of Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence was written and adopted and the Constitution was written.

In the Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges of Penn wrote, "Because no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyments of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience…"

The founding fathers spoke often of the "sacred right of conscience." It was a natural corollary of religious freedom, the first right they guaranteed in the First Amendment.

The sacred right of conscience was upheld by the Supreme Court in this decision---despite (or as seen in?) the apoplexy of the liberals against it.

Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy Legacy Library and a Christian TV producer. He has also written or co-written 23 books, including The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation and (with D. James Kennedy), What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? His views are his own. www.jerrynewcombe.com
 

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