by Dr. D ~ February 14th, 2012
(Image via CrunchBase)
The continuing saga of President Obama verses the Catholic leaders on Contraceptives and abortives is drawing out many to take sides and causing some to say some things that they have thought for years, spoke about only among friends, but haven’t dared to speak about in public.
Last week it was the shocking display of those questioning if maybe the Founders made a mistake when they guaranteed religious freedom in the Constitution. This week there are those outwardly stating that there must be limits to that freedom in the face of higher rights defined by a progressive agenda. In this case, women’s right to choose and be provided with contraceptives, abortives, sterilization, and ultimately abortion.
Here’s the latest to propose that the progressive understanding of woman’s rights should trump the free exercise of religion in America. Nicholas Kristof writes in an editorial for the New York Times:
Look, there’s a genuine conflict here. Many religious believers were sincerely offended that Catholic institutions would have to provide coverage for health interventions that the church hierarchy opposed. That counts in my book: it’s best to avoid forcing people to do things that breach their ethical standards. …
The basic principle of American life is that we try to respect religious beliefs, and accommodate them where we can. But we ban polygamy, for example, even for the pious. Your freedom to believe does not always give you a freedom to act.
In this case, we should make a good-faith effort to avoid offending Catholic bishops who passionately oppose birth control. I’m glad that Obama sought a compromise. But let’s remember that there are also other interests at stake. If we have to choose between bishops’ sensibilities and women’s health, our national priority must be the female half of our population.
Response: The current progressive thought displayed here by Kristof is representative of many. If there is a choice between the progressive agenda and religious freedom then somehow religion and its proponents must give way to progress. As Kristof says here- “there are also other interests at stake” and those interests should trump religion regardless of the Constitution.
This battle is far from over, in fact it is just beginning. It revolves around the secular-progressive need to re-define the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. Even though the Founders saw fit to place it as the first of the First Amendment rights in the Constitution, look for a major effort to limit those religious rights in the next 5-10 years and find ways to trump them with ‘more important’ interests and ‘higher’ progressive rights particularly of women and homosexuals.
The media, the schools and universities, and the courts will be the major venues for this battle. As hundreds of secular progressives are appointed to federal benches all across America, the religious freedoms that we have taken granted for so long in America will be increasingly challenged.