Brown Assaults Religious Liberty

John Seiler:

Gov. Jerry Brown likes to brag how he attended a Catholic Jesuit seminary half a century ago. Now and then he even drops a few lines of Latin, showing us how Superior he is to the rabble who attended government schools.

Catholics should be happy that he never was ordained. Because now he’s attacking religious liberty for them and everybody else. Brown has sided with President Barack Obama in insisting that the Obamacare Soviet medical scheme must include contraception coverage, even for those Catholic institutions that say it goes against their faith.

Brown said of Catholic leaders resisting Obama’s tyranny:

“They’re so far out of it. They’re talking about birth control. I remember when I was in the seminary in 1960 and Dr. [John] Rock invented the pill and this was a controversy. Now, we’re 50 years later … This is crazy.”

No, they’re not talking about “birth control,” which the U.S. Supreme Court said is a right in the 1965 Griswold vs. Connecticut decision.

They’re talking about freedom — the freedom to be left alone to follow their own religious practices without interference from a tyrannical government.

Brown, after leaving the seminary, went to Yale Law School. So presumably he read the First Amendment. Here it is:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Brown and Obama clearly are violating the “free exercise” of “religion.”

The California Constitution also stipulates, in Article I, Section 4:

“Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference are guaranteed.”

Brown clearly is violating the “Free exercise of religion” while conducting “discrimination” against one religion, in this case Catholics.

Violating Conscience

The Obama-Brown assault on religious liberty was made clear by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago:

“This year, the Catholic Church in the United States is being told she must ‘give up’ her health care institutions, her universities and many of her social service organizations. This is not a voluntary sacrifice. It is the consequence of the already much discussed Department of Health and Human Services regulations now filed and promulgated for implementation beginning Aug. 1 of this year.

“Why does a governmental administrative decision now mean the end of institutions that have been built up over several generations from small donations, often from immigrants, and through the services of religious women and men and others who wanted to be part of the church’s mission in healing and education? Catholic hospitals, universities and social services have an institutional conscience, a conscience shaped by Catholic moral and social teaching. The HHS regulations now before our society will make it impossible for Catholic institutions to follow their conscience.”

He then makes a crucial point about the different kinds of “religious liberty”:

“The provision of health care should not demand ‘giving up’ religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.”

So, that’s the choice America faces today: The Obama-Brown-Soviet view of religious “liberty,” or the real religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment. No amount of Jesuitical gibberish by Brown changes that.

March 9, 2012

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