OBAMA’S WAR ON INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY – In the last Chairman’s Report, I wrote about President Obama’s plans to use his national health care mandates to force church organizations to supply insurance that covers contraceptives, sterilization and even the “morning after pill” which is in fact an abortifacient. It took a while, but conservatives in Congress finally entered the battle to stop this outrage.
While the Catholic Church seems to have been the main target of the Obama attack, many other churches will be gravely affected. Under Obama Care, Christian Science Church organizations will be forced to supply insurance that covers surgery and blood transfusions, which are prohibited in their faith. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible prohibits ingesting blood and that Christians should therefore not accept blood transfusions or donate or store their own blood for transfusion.
This was the problem with mandated health care from the beginning. Under Obama Care, standards are set by bureaucrats and all insurance policies must supply mandated items. Probably the issue of contraception was the opening shot for Obama and his Administration to soften up the opposition. Will sex-change operations be next? What about drugs for assisted suicide?
Most conservatives point to Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom when defending free enterprise, as for example Congressman Paul Ryan is an expert on the works of Hayek and the economists of the Austrian School. But the thrust of The Road to Serfdom was not economic, but rather the loss of liberty under central planning. On moral issues Hayek wrote:
“What our generation is in danger of forgetting is not only that morals are of necessity a phenomenon of individual conduct but also that they can exist only in the sphere in which the individual is free to decide for himself and is called upon voluntarily to sacrifice personal advantage to the observance of a moral rule. Outside the sphere of individual responsibility there is neither goodness nor badness, neither opportunity for moral merit nor the chance of proving one’s conviction by sacrificing one’s desires to what one thinks right.”
At its heart Obama Care is the worst case scenario of central planning, putting aside not only the will of religious organizations, but the self determination of individuals as well.
There is no law forcing church organizations to supply contraceptives; this provison is not in the massive Obama Care law pushed through by then Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid. The mandate for contraceptives is a “rule” written by the Health and Human Services (HHS) under the authority of the original bill. Obama Care gives the HHS the authority to mandate virtually anything regarding health care. In the extreme the HHS could order that all costly attempts to save premature babies be stopped. MediCare already mandates that costly medical care for the elderly be restricted.
There are lists of approved Medicare services, and doctors may not prescribe anything that is not on that list for Medicare patients. This same central control is now becoming obvious in Obama Care. Central planning is not limited to just ordering individuals to buy insurance.
Going back to Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom:
“If the law says that such a board or authority may do what it pleases, anything that board or authority does is legal—but its actions are certainly not subject to the Rule of Law. By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.”
Pay close attention to this portion of the above quote: “…a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.”
Canada is defined as a democracy, but there is virtually no freedom of speech in that nation. Individuals have been fined for letters of opinion sent to newspapers. The courts there forced one man who was publicly critical of Islam to work in a mosque as public service. Democracy and liberty are not synonymous. It could be possible for an individual to have greater personal liberty under a monarchy than under a democracy whose bureaucrats have been given unlimited rule-writing powers.
The problem of the loss of liberty through central planning goes beyond Obama Care. Our Congress has abdicated its responsibility in many areas, giving the authority to bureaucrats to write “rules” that have the force of law, “rules” that if violated can bring about not only fines but prison time. The Environmental Protection Agency has jailed innocent land owners for such crimes as cleaning garbage from their property.
Oddly, conservatives have aided in the rush to central planning. Republicans in Congress have sworn off “earmarks,” thus giving Barack Obama and the bureaucrats the full authority to spend trillions of dollars a year as they see fit without Congressional oversight. It is now Obama who decides which states get new bridges, not the Congress. Apparently, Tea Party members believe that having Obama decide where to spend trillions of dollars is better than the “corruption” of congressmen trying to bring jobs to their districts. The Tea Party is unwittingly assisting in the creation of even more central planning.
The problem with Obama Care is not simply Obama Care. The problem stems from both major political parties moving away from individual liberty and toward central planning, whether it is George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” or Barack Obama’s attempt to control medical care for the entire nation from one central location in Washington, DC.
We must heed the warnings of Friedrich von Hayek and dismantle the central planning monster we have created in Washington, DC before it devours the last of our liberties.
SANTORUM’S BIG WIN – The contraceptive mandates in Obama Care may have helped former Senator Rick Santorum sweep the states of Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. Mandated insurance was the central theme of the plan set forth by Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. At the Commonwealth Care website it is stated that Massachusetts insurance plans provide: “outpatient medical care (doctor’s visits, surgery, radiology and lab, abortion, community health center visits).” Family planning (contraceptives), is also listed.
LAWMAKERS ATTEMPT TO COUNTER OBAMA CARE MANDATE –Conservative members of the House and Senate are tirelessly working to overturn the Obama mandate to force church based organizations such as hospitals to provide the “morning after” pill to employees. A bipartisan group of Senators filed an amendment to the federal highway re-authorization bill that would have protected religious employers; however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blocked the amendment from a vote. The language was identical to the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, previously introduced and passed in the Republican controlled House.
To counter efforts in Congress to block the contraception mandate, President Obama has unveiled a “compromise” which the Wall Street Journal in an editorial referred to as “Immaculate Contraception.” Under the President’s new rule, contraception, sterilization and the morning after pill would still be required in the insurance policies the church purchases, but they would not have to pay for it. Obama actually said that savings from the “prevention of pregnancy” would allow the insurance companies to provide the contraceptive services free. It is noted that Obama referred to pregnancy being prevented as if having a baby was a disease. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the contraception was being “miraculously” paid for with no premium. It is obvious, stated the Journal, that the cost would still be borne by Church organizations in the premiums they pay.
SUPPORT FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM – Senator Roy Blunt has recently introduced the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2011 (S-1245) to give the Secretary of State the authority to name a Special Envoy to promote the religious freedom of religious minorities in the Near East and Central Asia. The Special Envoy would be an expert in human rights and religious freedom issues and would have the rank of Ambassador. In light of the continued attacks on Christians in Islamic areas of the world, it is important to move this legislation forward. Please contact your Senator requesting support of S-1245.
AIR FORCE KICKS GOD OFF PATCH – The Air Force removed a Latin reference to “God” from the motto of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) after receiving complaints from the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF). Thirty-five Members of Congress joined Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA) in sending a letter to the Air Force expressing concern over the decision. The RCO patch previously displayed the Latin motto that translated as “Doing God’s Work with Other People’s Money”; however, the Air Force altered it to now read “Doing Miracles with Other People’s Money.” Especially troubling about the move is the Air Force’s implication that the very presence of the word “God” on a military patch — regardless of its context or intent — is somehow unconstitutional.
CANADA HONOR KILLINGS – On June 30, 2009, Mohammad Shafia, with the help of his wife Tuba and his son Hamed, murdered his three daughters and his other wife in Ontario, Canada. The wealthy Shafia family worked quickly to conceal their actions by putting the bodies in a car and pushing it in a canal. The forensics did not add up and with the help of wire taps, the police caught up with them. Major newspapers and much of the Canadian broadcast media did not mention a motive. In the United States, CNN did report on the mass honor killings, but without mentioning anything about Islam, or that the courts clearly heard evidence that these were honor killings.
In the wire taps the father of the murdered girls is heard saying, “They betrayed kindness. They betrayed Islam. They betrayed our religion and creed. They betrayed our tradition.” He added, “Even if they come back to life a hundred times, if I have a cleaver in my hand, I will cut (them) in pieces.” He renounced his three daughters for dating westernized men and acting “unclean.” Incredibly, CNN reported that: “interrogations of the family never uncovered a motive.” How about this for a motive? The killers believe every word and instruction of the Qur’an and killed the girls for becoming “westernized.”
DUBAI POLICE CHIEF NO LONGER TRUSTS AMERICA – At a January 19, 2012 regional security conference in Bahrain, Dubai’s longtime chief of police Dahi Khalfan Tamim gave an assessment of security threats to the Gulf states. He said that the U.S. was the main security threat, that it had realized Iran’s dreams in Iraq, was “embracing” the Muslim Brotherhood, and was no longer an ally! (This is what our allies in the Gulf have to say about us.) The American ambassador, who was present at the meeting walked out of the room, but no one else left in protest with him.
MEET OBAMA’S MAN FOR EGYPT – There is virtually no doubt that Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail will be elected president of Egypt. Although the Muslim Brotherhood does not have an official candidate, he is as close as they come. As an Islamist and vocal supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, he has made it clear that there is no room for personal freedom in Islam.
In a recent television interview Ismail said that being a Muslim is like being a member of the military, where one has to go by a dictatorial code of conduct. “If you claim that Allah considers your personal freedom, show me your reference? Nobody has ever said that – except for people have no understanding of Sharia,” Ismail said. He said that as president that he would enforce the hijab being worn by women. He added that if a woman wants to abandon the veil, she should “change her creed.” Ismail said he is only obeying Allah, by imposing Islamic dress code. While saying a woman could “change her creed,” he failed to mention that the punishment under Sharia law for leaving Islam is death.
This is the new face of Egypt, the change that Obama championed in the Middle East. Under Obama’s watch the secular nations of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt have been handed to the Muslim Brotherhood. Syria is the last nation in the Middle East, other than Jordan and Israel, where Christians are protected. Neither Obama nor the media mention that most of the Christians who fled Iran after the Mullahs took over are in Syria. Nor is it mentioned that half of the Christians of Iraq fled to Syria after our government overthrew the secular government there. (Saddam Hussein’s vice president was a Christian.)
No one likes dictatorships – but – what happens to the millions of Christians in Syria if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over there as well? Where do they go? Lebanon? Now that the government in Lebanon is controlled by Hezbollah, any Christians who can leave are leaving. Copts with money are already fleeing Egypt in advance of the Muslim Brotherhood taking control there. The Middle East is being cleansed of Christians as President Barack Obama assists in bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power throughout the region.
William J. Murray, Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave, NW #900 , Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990