Now that we have established, in part I, exactly what the establishment clause means, and what it does not, it’s time to put that knowledge to use.
We have learned that the first amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law…” Does anyone else wish they would have stopped right there?…”Respecting an establishment of religion” does not mean that there is, or should be, a “Wall of separation between church and state.” It does not mean that religion and morality should never be considered when legislation is considered before either the courts, congress, or the people.
The establishment clause merely emphasizes each and every citizen’s right to “Liberty of conscience.” The freedom from supporting any endeavor which runs contrary to a person’s sacred beliefs.
It was originally intended to prevent the money raised by the federal government via taxation from supporting any one religious institution above another. It has, over time, been expanded to mean that the government, state or federal, is not allowed to favor any religion at all. This has come to mean, for many, that there can be no mention of religion, morality, or any sort of spiritual leanings in the public square at all.
This is a victory for the secularists. What they fail to understand is that their secular belief system, for that is exactly what it is; even the abhorence of religion, atheism, has a set of rules and tenets that must be adhered to, thus making it a belief system and, consequently, a form of religion, also falls under the restrictions of the first amendment.
We could argue in circles forever about this, and probably will, but the fact remains that the first amendment has very little to do with religion. It has everything to do with the power of the federal government, specifically in the way it is allowed to spend our tax dollars.
The government is not allowed to use money raised from taxpayers to support anything that would deprive them of their “Liberty of conscience.”
The majority of Indiana residents, the vast majority, feel that abortion is a sin. They feel that life begins at conception, and that abortion is akin to murder. We can argue the scientific merits of this position, but the fact will remain that most Hoosiers are against abortion.
The government has ruled that abortion is legal. This is fine. The government has also ruled that no federal money may be used to provide abortions. Again, this is fine, and is very much in keeping with the original intent of the first amendment.
So the question is, why is the state of Indiana being sued for attempting to defund Planned Parenthood?
Planned Parenthood provides abortions. Abortion equals murder to a vast majority of Indiana residents. What is so difficult? It is a clear cut case of constitutional law. As long as Planned Parenthood continues to provide abortions, they should not receive any state, or federal funding. If they continue to receive this money, it would violate the first amendment to the constitution of the United States.
The primary issue here is the reluctance of secular progressives to see that he constitution applies to them as well as the religious right. The fact that most jurists are secular in nature does not help the cause. Impartiality does not preclude innate morality. Justice is not the sole province of the minority. There are instances in which the majority is actually correct.
The leaders of Planned Parenthood would have us believe that none of the money they receive from the government goes directly towards abortions. To this I say, ‘same pants, different pocket’.
They claim that essential services will be denied to those that can’t afford them if the funding is cut off. To this I say, stop providing abortions. They can have all the money they want if they will simply adhere to the federal government’s ban on taxpayer-funded abortion.
The courts are wrong for taking so long to decide this matter. The federal government is wrong for attempting to pressure the state of Indiana to back down from it’s stance, and any lawyer that believes that this is anything but a clear-cut case of violating the first amendment is simply wrong.
This is merely another case of a government entity, Planned Parenthood receives most of it’s funding from the government, seeking protection from a government entity, the supreme court and the Obama administration, from the very people that the government is supposed to be representing, the people of Indiana.
It’s two against one, and I don’t like our odds, but it doesn’t take a Harvard law degree to know that something is wrong with the system, and with the interpretation of it’s duties. A representative democracy is intended to represent the majority of it’s people, not offend them.