Polls, Politics, and Prioritizing Our Problems

All that “tranquility of the global community” the White House spokesman was recently boasting about dominated Thursday’s news, what with Israeli ground troops entering Gaza and a jet from the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines being shot down over Russian-occupied Ukraine, so it would have been easy to overlook an intriguing Gallup poll about what worries Americans most. The litany’s top top five doesn’t include the deteriorating international order, which should come as a relief to that insouciant White House spokesman, but neither does it include any good news for the Democrats.
Topping the list of most important problems is “immigration/illegal aliens,” which has shot up the charts since the recent invasion by unaccompanied minors from Central America, and the racist xenophobes of the Republican party are likely beneficiaries of the public’s concern. The Democrats and their media allies will have a hard time convincing anyone that the Republicans’ racism and xenophobia are what’s drawing tens of thousands of expensive illegal youngsters to the country, rather than the Democrats’ more compassionate and caring policy of holding out hope of amnesty and free stuff, and other polls indicate that most Americans are more inclined to the racist and xenophobic option of returning the invaders to their homelands.
Coming in a close second is the hodgepodge of “Dissatisfaction with government, Congress, politicians, poor leadership, corruption, Abuse of Power,” which is at least open to hopeful interpretations. The White House will prefer to read this as a righteous anger against those obstructionist Republicans in Congress who stubbornly refuse to rubber stamp the president’s agenda, but we expect that many respondents had in mind the Internal Revenue Service and Veterans Administration and National Security Agency scandals and any number of other problems that have more to do with the executive branch. Much of that dissatisfaction with Congress is caused by the Democrat-controlled Senate, too, and the Republicans in the other chamber don’t seem to have much power to abuse.
The “economy in general” comes in second and “unemployment, jobs” in third, and a sensible combination of these two would have probably come in first. The Democrats will argue that these problems could have been easily solved if only those darned Republicans had allowed them to rack up the national debt by a few more billion and add another million or so pages of regulations for the understaffed compliances offices of America’s corporations to comply with, but the Republicans should be able to get a few votes and a lot of laughs out of that.
“Poor healthcare, hospitals, high cost of health care” comes in fourth on the list, so the Republicans will have a head start on convincing the American public that Obamacare hasn’t solved all that. Despite an almost complete absence of news coverage, “federal budget deficit, federal” debt comes in at a surprisingly strong fifth place. The Democrats will boast that they’ve cut those deficits to less than the recent trillion dollar highs, even as they lambaste the Republicans for their stingy ways, but this far the public is not reassured. “Education, poor education, access” to education are the public’s sixth most pressing problem, and the teachers unions will need to spend a lot of dues money to convince any voters that they just need more funding and continued tenure and that federalized Common Core Curriculum to make things right at school. “Ethics, moral, religious, family decline” comes in eighth, and the party that would compel nuns to purchase contraceptives is not likely to appeal the people with those worries.
Democrats can take some hope in noting that “Poverty, hunger, homelessness” came in ninth, as these are the party’s traditional causes, but they’ll have to hope that nobody notices there’s more of all of them after six years of a Democratic presidency. It’s also good news for the Democrats that “foreign aid, focus overseas” barely made the top ten.
What’s missing from the top ten is also a problem for the Democrats. Only one percent of the poll’s respondents cited “race relations and racism” as the nation’s most pressing problem, and it’s probably a similar number who will take seriously the notion that racism is the sole reason for any dissatisfaction with the president. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision doesn’t rate any mention, even though it’s a staple of Democratic fund-raising and the Senate Democrats regard it as such a crisis that the First Amendment needs amending as a result. The Hobby Lobby decision is also unmentioned by any of the respondents, even though the Democrats are raising even more money with claims that it’s the first step toward the Republicans’ nefarious plot to subjugate women to bare feet and pregnancy. The even more nefarious plot by to Koch Brothers to do God only knows what was also overlooked, although that can cited by the fund-raising Democrats as further proof of how very ingeniously wicked is the conspiracy. We also note that income inequality and global warming and transgendered rights and all the other issues that seem to excite a certain sort of Democrat are not high on the list of what the general public is worried about.
We don’t have much regard for the general public, but is heartening to see that they have more sensible priorities than a certain sort of Democrat.

– Bud Norman

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Nuns Dare Call It Conspiracy

When they’re not pursuing the economic policies that have brought female workforce participation rates to a post-feminism low, or chasing interns around the office, or bemoaning the Republicans’ “War on Women,” Democrats have lately been waging a war on the Little Sisters of the Poor. Surprisingly enough, the Little Sisters of the Poor seem to be getting the better of it.
For those unfamiliar with this fine organization, the Little Sisters of the Poor is an order of Catholic nuns who have been caring for the elderly since Saint Jeanne Jugan brought a blind and paralyzed old woman in from the cold of a French winter in 1839, and despite its good works in cities across America since arriving in Cincinnati in 1868 it went largely unnoticed until the Obamacare law mandated it provide contraception coverage for all its members and workers. The order’s vow of chastity rendered such coverage unnecessary for its members, and its strict adherence to Catholic doctrine made facilitating the use of contraception by any of its more permissive-minded employees a moral hazard, so it took its much-publicized case to court. Although the matter remains to be sorted out by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will no doubt take its sweet time deciding if the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom still means anything, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Little Sisters of the Poor can continue their good works in accordance with their consciences until the case reaches a definitive legal conclusion. The injunction was issued without dissent, which bodes well for the Little Sisters’ chances when the case inevitably reaches the highest court.
That would be the highest secular court, of course, and the Little Sisters seem quite confident in winning on their most final appeal. They also stand a good chance of winning in the court of public opinion, which is almost as important and has more far-reaching political implications. Bullying a bunch of nuns who have devoted their lives to serving the aged and needy into subsidizing the swinging sex lives of libidinous young Democrats cannot be good public relations, even in this day and age, and the cautious tone of the mainstream press coverage suggests they’d rather not be talking about the at all. The very name of the case — “Little Sisters of the Poor, et al, V. Sebelius, Sec. of H&HS, et al” — is too damning for most reporters to mention.
Some Democrats are so reverent of government and hostile toward religion that they will instinctively side with the defendant, and for reasons we cannot quite ascertain they are especially annoyed by anything Catholic, but we hope this remains a minority view. Whatever one thinks of the Little Sisters’ theological reasons they cannot be faulted for their undeniable altruism for the neediest people of our society, as much as Democrats might resent the proof they have no monopoly on that virtue, and they make for a very sympathetic plaintiff. The more hysterical leftists are already alleging a papist conspiracy by the Court’s unprecedented Catholic majority, but they can’t deny that the majority is comprised of justices from both the right and left, that none of the Protestant minority offered a dissent, that the plaintiff’s “et al” includes numerous Protestant charities, that the main defendant and many of her own “et als” are Catholics, and that the underlying issue of freedom of religion is of vast importance to any person of faith no matter his creed.
Higher costs, less coverage, massive federal debt, bureaucratic bungling, and countless other practical problems are the main reasons for Obamacare’s widespread unpopularity and eventual repeal, but here’s hoping that its iron-fisted authoritarianism and lack of regard for individual rights has something to do with it as well. If the government can force the Little Sisters of the Poor to act against their highly-refined consciences, it will be hard for anyone to resist, and if the Little Sisters of the Poor can prevail, it will be a victory for everyone.

– Bud Norman

Hooray for Hobby Lobby

None of our hobbies require the kinds of materials that are sold by the Hobby Lobby chain, and thus we have never so much as entered one of its stores, but it has nonetheless joined Koch Industries and the Wham-O Corporation as one of our favorite companies.
Hobby Lobby enjoys a stellar reputation for the quality and value of its goods, and by all accounts treats is customers and workers according to the highest standards of business ethics, but the reason for our newfound enthusiasm is the company’s legal challenge to one of the more appalling provisions of Obamacare. The widely hated health care reform law dictates that all companies provide insurance covering abortifacients to their employees, and the same Christian convictions that cause Hobby Lobby’s ownership to treat its customers and employees by the highest standards of business ethics also oppose any form of abortion, so the company has boldly vowed to take its conscientious objections all the way to the Supreme Court.
Even the most administration-friendly media are expecting Hobby Lobby to prevail, and we hope they are right. Compelling people with a moral revulsion to abortion is tyranny, as well as an absurd contradiction of the left’s self-righteous claim of being “pro-choice,” and if it is allowable within the constitution it is impossible to conceive what is not. The Supreme Court has already decreed that a constitution clearly intended to impose restraints on government power does not restrain the government from forcing individuals to purchase insurance they do not want or need, and if anyone engaged in commerce can be compelled to act against his conscience there are no limits.
An administration bent on enforcing the most disastrous provisions of its signature legislative accomplishment, except the ones that are most likely to hamper its party’s chances in the next election cycle, will expect to reap political advantage from its totalitarian power-grab. They’ll cite the case as an example of the opposition’s “war on women” to strengthen a grip on the young and unmarried women’s vote, portraying Hobby Lobby as a corporate villain working in cahoots with blue-nosed and moustache-twirling Republicans intent on inhibiting the consequence-free sex lives of the more hip-and-up-to-date segments of modern society, and they’ll no doubt find a susceptible audience among the younger female cohort. So far as we can tell Hobby Lobby has no rules regarding its employee’s sexual dabblings, save for a refusal to pay for its outcomes, but this will be of little matter to women who regard federal subsidies for their already affordable contraception expenses a natural right. We constantly assure our distaff Democrat friends how ardently we desire to live in a society where their sexual practices and contraception needs are none of our damn business, but they continue to insist that it be a matter of public policy.
Hobby Lobby’s admirably pro-choice position deserves support, and we’re almost tempted to take up scrapbooking as a pastime so we’ll have reason to patronize their business.

– Bud Norman

Fair Play, Compassion, and Brass Knuckles

Modern liberalism prides itself on compassion and fair play, but modern liberals pursue these goals with a frightening ruthlessness. Two examples of this phenomenon have been featured in this week’s news.
One was the maximum pain that the Obama administration has sought to inflict on the public as a result of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Go ahead and blame that those uncompassionate and unfair Republicans in the legislative branch for the temporary furlough of the 17 percent of government employees officially deemed nonessential, but it is obviously up to the executive branch to execute whatever the people’s representatives do or do not decide upon, and the administration has chosen to go about it in the most callous ways possible. The Republicans have declared in open voting their willingness to fund cancer programs for children, air travel and other compensations for the family of fallen soldiers, and various other worthy government expenditures, but the administration and its allies in the Senate have chosen to decline the offer of a “piecemeal” re-funding in hopes of winning all its demands including full-funding and no delays in implementation of its widely hated Obamacare law. To further emphasize the necessity of unlimited government to a public that has barely noticed the brief absence of 17th of it the administration has also closed a variety of public monuments and lands, even when it would have been cheaper to keep them open, and resorted to what some would-be visitors have described as “Gestapo tactics” in doing so.
An even more chilling example is the latest revelation in the ongoing scandal of the Internal Revenue Service’s harassment of citizens opposed to the administration’s agenda. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has revealed to the invaluable Daily Caller internet publication that a top IRS official shared confidential taxpayer information about religious organizations opposed to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandates with the White House. Such violations of the law were considered an outrage back when President Richard Nixon was accused of it, but modern liberalism seems willing to make excuses when it is done in the name of compassion and fair play and subsidized contraception.
Perhaps the utopia that will surely follow from unlimited federal borrowing and Obamacare and free contraception for everyone justifies such brass-knuckled tactics, but it had better be good.

– Bud Norman

God, Women, and the Democrats

Even with professional football beckoning on another television channel, it’s hard to turn one’s attention away from the Democrats’ national convention. For bruising hits, strange behavior, and bizarre spectacle, even the National Football League can’t compete with the Democrats.

The highlight, thus far, was when a significant number of the assembled delegates booed God. This unprecedented moment in American politics occurred because earlier in the convention party officials had deleted a reference to “God-given rights” from the platform, leaving the document without any mention of the deity. Party poobahs were clearly rattled by the negative reaction from the more pious portions of the population, with Sen. Dick Durbin reacting to an interviewer’s seemingly innocent question about the matter as if the Spanish Inquisition were interrogating him, and they quickly asked the convention delegates to approve an amendment restoring God’s place in the party platform. After three tries God was ruled to have won a voice vote, although the “nays” certainly sounded louder each time and there was much booing, hissing and jeering throughout.

The Democrats can now insist that they officially have nothing against God, although if pressed they’d have to say that He is no Barack Obama, and a couple of subsequent speakers even made a point of mentioning God in what they probably considered a favorable light. Black Congressional Caucus leader Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver delivered a rousing sermon on the goodness, mercy, and bountiful blessings of big government, exhorting the president to “continue to hope,” then adding very specifically that “As long as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sits on the throne of grace, hope on!” A short time earlier the delegates had also contentiously approved a platform amendment restoring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and we assume that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would have approved. Elizabeth Warren, the fake Indian affirmative action scammer and Massachusetts Senate candidate whose self-righteous anger stands out even at a Democratic convention, mentioned her past service as a Sunday school teacher and even recited some New Testament verses proving God is a socialist who hates Republicans, corporations, and religious people as much as she does.

The delegates were also treated to a speech by Sandra Fluke, the 30-year-old Georgetown law school student who demanded that her Catholic university provide her with birth control and became famous when a prominent radio host called her a “slut,” and so far as we can tell there was no mention of God. Fluke’s speech was part of the convention’s emphasis on issues of importance to women. Judging by the Democratic convention one might conclude that women are mostly interested in abortion, birth control, and sexual freedom, but in our unfortunate experience they seem far more interested in their jobs.

In keeping with the theme of how much Democrats love women, the convention followed up its tribute to Ted Kennedy with a much ballyhooed speech by serial sexual harasser and alleged rapist Bill Clinton. The man who gave America the subprime mortgage was called on because of the public’s lingering memories of the good times before the crash, and he spoke about how tough Obama’s had it and how hard he’s tried, but mostly it sounded very much like those trombone sounds that the adults used to make on the “Peanuts” television specials, and by that point the game was getting good.

Today’s big finale has been moved from the gigantic Bank of America Stadium, which had been re-named “Panthers’ Stadium” to avoid any embarrassing association with nasty old bankers, and depending on who’s talking it was either because of a forecast with a slight possibility of rain or a fear that they’d wind up with a lot of un-telegenic empty seats. Either way it was a lucky break for the Carolina Panthers, because they’ll be hard pressed to top the Democrats’ spectacle even if they make it to the Super Bowl.

– Bud Norman

Prophylactic News Coverage

In case you haven’t heard, the Catholic church is taking the Obama administration to court. That’s something you should have heard, given its rather extraordinary noteworthiness, but if you rely on the network news organization it might very well have escaped your attention.

When more than a dozen Catholic archbishops, the University of Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, Catholic Charities, and 40 other Catholic institutions filed a suit last week against the Department of Health and Human Services over a ruling that their insurance providers must cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients, the three major over-the-air newscasters all but ignored the story. The eagle-eyed observers at the venerable Media Research Center found that ABC’s “World News” and NBC’s “Nightly News” made no mention of the story whatsoever, while CBS’ “Evening News” devoted all of 19 seconds to the matter. Although CBS deserves some credit for at least a brief mention of the lawsuit it report could hardly have done the story justice, as it takes much of 19 seconds just to say contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients.

News judgments are vexingly subjective, and always dependent on what else happened on a given day, but it’s hard to find any of the usual journalistic explanations for this omission. A legal conflict between one of the world’s major religions — that would be the Catholics, not the Obama administration — and a president is clearly of importance, and not just to the significant number of Americans who are Catholic. All people of faith, including the Rabbinical Council of America, have a stake in the case, and anyone who holds opinions contrary to those of the Obama administration does as well.

Nor can the networks convincingly argue that they had more important things to cover. On the day the lawsuit was filed NBC found time to cover a solar eclipse that was visible only in a few parts of the world, and would have no discernible effect on future events, and ABC devoted three minutes and 30 seconds to the sentencing of a Rutgers student who had spied on a homosexual roommate. If anything else of greater importance than the lawsuit had happened that day, we’ve already forgotten about it.

One possible explanation for the network’s decision to ignore the lawsuit, which will seem plausible enough to the rationally paranoid conservative, is that they are devoted to helping the president and don’t believe the story will improve his political fortunes. We believe they are correct in this assessment, and ardently hope so, but we don’t expect they’ll succeed in keeping a majority of the public in the dark about the lawsuit. The networks all covered the administration’s contraception mandate with great enthusiasm back when the Obama campaign thought it had a winning issue, and there’s bound to be some lingering public interest in how that story plays out.

– Bud Norman

Sexual Counter-Revolutionaries

We rarely look to Raquel Welch for political insights, and more often to look to her for other reasons, but the famously voluptuous actress recently offered an observation that explains a great deal about some recent controversies. She told an interviewer that “I think we’ve gotten to the point in our culture where we’re all sex addicts, literally. We have equated happiness in life with as many orgasms as you can possibly pack in, regardless of where it is that you deposit your love interest.”

The interview appeared in Men’s Health, a publication not ordinarily on our reading list, but we happened upon it while checking the Drudge Report for the latest news about the Republican party’s war on women. Sure enough, there was a headline announcing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s charge that “Extremists ‘Want to Control Women,’” but the picture of Welch, still a 50 megaton sex bomb at the age of 72, caused us to temporarily interrupt our research and indulge in the interview. We simply couldn’t control ourselves.

When we returned to the more serious fare, we found Clinton boasting that she has “made women a cornerstone of American foreign policy,” and instructed her diplomats to “partner with women to find ways to engage and build on their unique strengths.” In the same speech to the “Women in the World Summit” in New York City, Clinton compared the plight of women in countries such as Tunisia, where “extremists will try to strip their rights, curb their participation, limit their ability to make choices for themselves … They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies,” to the plight of women in America, adding that “Yes, it is hard to believe that even here at home, we have to stand up for women’s rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us, because America needs to set an example to the entire world.”

We have no idea what Clinton was talking about when she alleged a conspiracy to control how women dress and act, unless she’s talking about the fashion industry and Hollywood, which are not Republican strongholds, but we assume that the part about women’s health and bodies is a reference to the recent contraception coverage flap. The Democrats want every worker’s health insurance to pay for contraception, even if they work for a religious institution opposed to the practice, and the Republicans’ reluctance to go along with this plan is being called an act of war on women.

It is indeed hard to believe that American women who have to pay for their own contraception are quite so oppressed as the women of the Middle East, where forced marriages, genital mutilation, honor killings, and similar outrages are commonplace, but many people will no doubt believe it nonetheless. Not a single person we are aware of has advocated banning contraceptives, and we note that Clinton could not identify who “they” are, but no matter. Simply by declining to pay for another person’s contraception the Republicans have once again demonstrated what sexually repressed moralists they are, and it will be easy for the more fervent imaginations of the left to see it as the first step towards a nightmare dystopia of enforced pre-marital chastity and compulsory motherhood.

Why this constitutes a war on women is unclear, however, because it has been our observation that men are at least as avid about contraception and the sexual license it affords. The Democrats apparently regard it as good politics to be seen as the party of women’s rights rather than the party of do-it-in-the-road libertinism, but they might be missing a bet by not broadening their appeal. We suspect that a presidential candidate whose stump speech was Rodney Dangerfield’s famous closing lines in “Caddyshack,” promising the cheering crowd that “We’re all gonna get laid tonight,” would do quite well in modern America.

Much of liberalism’s current popularity, especially among the young, is based on its loving embrace of what no less a liberal than Ralph Nader once called “gonadal issues.” While the left is quite comfortable with the government telling people what kind of light bulbs to use, what health insurance to buy, what to pack in a child’s lunch bag, and any number of choices that were once left to individual men and women, they’ll always stand steadfast against any restrictions on sexual behavior. For many people, especially the young, sexual freedom is the most important kind. The economy sputters, gas prices rise, another trillion is added to the national debt, but at least the Democrats aren’t going to keep you from getting any action.

Neither are the Republicans, of course, but neither will they contribute to your expenses, and that’s likely to cost them a few votes. It might win them a few more, though, because there’s still a constituency for a more genteel sexual sensibility, or at least one that doesn’t become a burden on the taxpayers. Even Raquel Welch, who has done as much as anyone to promote interest in sex, declared in her recent interview that “I don’t care if I’m becoming one of those old fogies who says, ‘Back in my day we didn’t have to hear about sex all the time.’”

Bravo, Miss Welch. Let us hear less about sex, and more about the economy, gas prices, the national debt and other titillating topics.

– Bud Norman

No Way to Treat a Lady

One should never call a woman a slut, unless she’s into that, and it would have been better if Rush Limbaugh had not done so. Still, the indignation of his critics is hard to bear.

If you’ve limited your news reading to the important things, you might have missed the story. In the wake of the Obama administration’s decision that the Catholic church should provide contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization for the employees of its hospitals, schools and other large institutions, a Georgetown University law student with the intriguing name of Sandra Fluke spoke before an unofficial congressional hearing about the burdensome injustice of not being provided contraceptive coverage by the Catholic school. Radio commentator Limbaugh disapprovingly commented on her comments during his popular program, and in the course of his commentary he likened her to a prostitute and referred to her as a “slut.” Much tsk-tsking ensued from the rest of the commenting industry, several politicians expressed grave offense, outraged activist groups scared away some advertisers, and Limbaugh wound up apologizing at length on consecutive broadcasts.

Such broadcasting brouhahas pop up from time to time, heaping massive amounts of publicity on the offending speaker before fading from the public’s memory, and this is just another one of them. Limbaugh’s many enemies are hoping to make the most of it, however, and it should be noted that their protests are censorious, opportunistic, and hypocritical.

The president apparently called Fluke “to express his disappointment that she has been the subject of inappropriate personal attacks,” but he won’t be returning the million bucks that was raised for his campaign by foul-mouthed comedian Bill Maher, who has refused to apologize for calling former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin an ever harsher epithet that does not bear repeating here. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Republicans to disavow “the vicious and appropriate attacks,” but had no public opinion when television wag David Letterman insinuated that Palin’s apolitical daughter was promiscuous. Rep. Steny Hoyer is apparently advising Fluke to sue, but offered no such advice to conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham after MSNBC’s Ed Schultz called her a “right-wing slut.”

Examples of such liberal vitriol abound, as any prominent conservative woman will attest, and are in keeping with the generally degraded nature of contemporary popular culture. Since the days of Lenny Bruce and The Berkeley Barb the cultural left has championed vulgarity, profanity, and the personal attack as authentic and liberating, and at this late date it’s galling to hear them complain that some of it has seeped in to Limbaugh’s shtick.

Still, it would have been better if Limbaugh hadn’t said that. It’s not only unseemly, so very like the sort of people he usually rails against, but it also distracted from a fair critique of a ridiculous young woman who chose to thrust herself into the national political discourse. Fluke’s notion that her rights are being violated if the government doesn’t pay for it will prove extremely expensive if put into practice, given that we’ve all got a right to guns and many other costly things, and she deserves ridicule. It’s bad enough when people think the world owes them a living, but Fluke seems to think it owes her some loving as well.

Which is not meant to imply any promiscuity on her part, of course. She’s no doubt a fine young woman, just slightly mistaken.

– Bud Norman

Prophylactic Government

They’re a bossy, intolerant, holier-than-thou lot, these irreligious people. Not all of them, of course, and we hasten to add that some of our best friends are godless heathens, but too many of the unchurched are self-righteously determined to impose their non-beliefs on everyone.

The latest example is a ruling by the Department of Health and Human Services that the “Obamacare” law requires all large institutions to offer their employees insurance covering contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients, even if those institutions are affiliated with religions that object to such practices.

News reports about the ruling have stressed its effect on Catholic institutions, and thus far the Catholic church has been the most vociferous in its criticisms, but people of all religions will likely feel threatened by the new policy. While most Protestant denominations and other faiths take a more permissive view of contraception than their Catholic brethren, at least as far as married couples are concerned, many churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples are as steadfast as the Catholics in their opposition to sterilization and abortion. All people who still cling to a faith in a power higher than government knows that there’s something in their creed that will eventually bring them into conflict with an unrestrained secular state, and we expect that many of them will decide that this is as good a place as any to draw a line.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the policy “strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventative services,” but it seems a strange equilibrium. The respect for religious belief is merely rhetorical, the increase in access to services is entirely tangible, and in the end people of faith will have to either pay for something they find sinful or stop providing needed services to the public.

That seems an appropriate balance to a post-religious sensibility, which marvels that anyone still believes in such archaic notions as the propagation of the species, and in the most fevered imaginations of the post-modern left it’s a necessary counterweight to the brutal theocracy of the “The Handmaid’s Tale” that is always looming yet never arrives. From a religious point of view it’s pure bullying by a government with no respect for religious freedom, and we hope that more than a few agnostics and atheists who cherish their liberties will also recognize the dangerous precedent being set by a policy that forces people to act contrary to their most cherished beliefs.

– Bud Norman

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