The Obama administration disdains phrases like "war on terror" or "war on religion" as terms of conservative simpletons who "cling to guns or religion" ("Battle lines are drawn over whether Obama is waging a war on religion," National news, Monday). Haggling over phraseology, however, does nothing to mitigate the potentially irreparable harm to the First Amendment wrought by this administration's series of attacks on religious freedom. Consider that in the past three years, people of faith and conscience have witnessed:
- the gutting of the only federal regulation protecting the exercise of conscience in health care;
- the denial of federal grant funds for aiding human trafficking victims because a faith-based organization refused to participate in abortion;
- the administration's audacious and unanimously rejected attempt to convince the Supreme Court to restrict faith-based organizations' hiring rights; and
- a coercive contraceptive mandate that imposes the government's abortion ideology on the faith-based and pro-life communities.
The President has carried out these affronts to First Amendment freedoms with crafty technocracy and obfuscating rhetoric. It's time we Americans shifted our focus from phrases to actions. We are losing our freedoms.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…" The freedom of religion, conscience and speech guaranteed by our Constitution is not subject to an imperial president's "concessions" or "accommodations;" this freedom is our inalienable right. The free exercise of religion means just that--free exercise. Free to reject government coercion over contraception. Free to hire faith-professing employees. Free to compete for federal grants regardless of abortion ideology. Free to exercise conscience in health care.
Instead of enforcing the founders' "wall of separation" protecting the Church's autonomy from state abrogation, this president instead has erected an unconstitutional wall of state coercion and discrimination separating the Church from its constitutional liberties.
Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!