Hobby Lobby Defies Obama Administration with Civil Disobedience for Religious Liberty
by Ken Klukowski
December 28, 2012
Now that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied Hobby Lobby’s application for an emergency injunction protecting them from Obamacare’s HHS Mandate on abortion and birth control, Hobby Lobby has decided to defy the federal government to remain true to their religious beliefs, at enormous risk and financial cost.
Hobby Lobby is wholly owned and controlled by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. The Greens are committed to running their business in accordance with their Christian faith, believing that God wants them to conduct their professional business in accordance with the family’s understanding of the Bible. Hobby Lobby’s mission statement includes, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company … consistent with Biblical principles.”
The HHS Mandate goes into effect for Hobby Lobby on Jan. 1, 2013. The Greens correctly understand that some of the drugs the HHS Mandate requires them to cover at no cost in their healthcare plans cause abortions.
Today Hobby Lobby announced that they will not comply with this mandate to become complicit in abortion, which the Greens believe ends an innocent human life. Given Hobby Lobby’s size (it has 572 stores employing more than 13,000 people), by violating the HHS Mandate, it will be subject to over $1.3 million in fines per day. That means over $40 million in fines in January alone. If their case takes another ten months to get before the Supreme Court—which would be the earliest it could get there under the normal order of business—the company would incur almost a half-billion dollars in fines. And then of course the Supreme Court would have to write an opinion in what would likely be a split decision with dissenters, which could easily take four or six months and include hundreds of millions of dollars in additional penalties.
This is civil disobedience, consistent with America’s highest traditions when moral issues are at stake. The Greens are a law-abiding family. They have no desire to defy their own government. But as the Founders launched the American Revolution because they believed the British government was violating their rights, the Greens believe that President Barack Obama and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are commanding the Greens to sin against God, and that no government has the lawful authority to do so.
The Christian tradition of defying government commands to do something wrong goes back to the very birth of Christianity. When the apostles were ordered not to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone, the Book of Acts records: “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.’”
Eleven of the twelve apostles—including Peter—would lose their lives for the sake of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ; only the apostle John died of old age. They were determined to obey God’s will at all costs.
This issue of civil disobedience is never to be undertaken lightly. The Bible teaches Christians to submit to all legitimate governmental authority (e.g., Romans 13:1), and so a person can only disobey the government when there is no other way to obey God.
But here in America, the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and in its First Amendment it protects against a government establishment of an official religion and separately protects the free exercise of religion. On top of that, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) to specifically add an additional layer of protection against government actions that violate a person’s religious beliefs.
The HHS Mandate is a gross violation of the religious beliefs of the Green family. The issue before the courts here is whether the Greens religious-liberty rights include running their secular, for-profit business consistent with their religious beliefs. In other words, is religious liberty just what you do in church on a Sunday morning, or does it include what you do during the week at your job?
The Greens are now putting their fortunes on the line to do what they believe is right. The courts should side with them, affirming a broad scope of religious liberty under the Constitution and RFRA. And the Supreme Court should resolve this matter with dispatch in their favor.
Millions of Christians across the country feel exactly the same way as the Greens. The Obama administration has issued a statist command that is a declaration of war on people of faith who object to abortion, and civil disobedience could break out all over the country unless the courts set this matter right—and quickly.
Read more: http://goo.gl/d86N3
‘We Have Passed That Point of No Return’: Ron Paul Explains What’s Missing in The ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Talks
by Becket Adams
December 29, 2012
Even if Congress manages to come up with a solution to avert the “fiscal cliff,” a combination of year-end tax increases and spending cuts, it won’t be worth anything because it’ll probably only deal with tax rates and ignore the problem of runaway government spending, or so say Texas Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul.
“I think we have passed that point of no return where we can actually get our house in order,” Rep. Paul said Friday on CNBC. “I believe there is too much bipartisanship on the spending. Nobody is talking about cutting any spending.”
“Republicans and Democrats,” he continued, “they pretend they’re fighting up there, but they really aren’t. They’re arguing over power, spin, and who looks good, and who looks bad, but they’re all trying to preserve this system where they can spend what they want, take care of their friends, and let the Fed print money when they need it.”
However, that’s not to say Rep. Paul doesn’t believe U.S. lawmakers will come up with temporary solutions to things like the “cliff.”
“[It’ll be] sort of like — how many times have they had a ‘solution’ for the Greece crisis? About ten or 15 times?” the congressman asked, referring to the eurozone’s most unstable and financially broken member.
“There’s no admission that they [U.S. lawmakers] have a crisis. They have no admission that the country is bankrupt. There’s no admission that our government is spending way too much and it’s way beyond our means and there’s not a single bit of effort to cut anything,” the congressman continued.
“They are so they so far removed from admitting the seriousness of this crisis and if they don’t admit it, they can’t solve the problem. They’re like a bunch of drug addicts that just want another fix. That’s what they are looking for,” he concluded:
Read more: http://goo.gl/SNSSP
Putting the Spending Genie Back in the Bottle
December 30, 2012
As the following chart from Investor's Business Daily demonstrates, The Bush Tax Cuts didn't starve the federal treasury – revenue flooded in as the economy expanded from the pro-growth policies implemented in 2003 and continued until the sub-prime mortgage market collapse.
Even with the anemic Obama economic recovery, revenues are again nearly equal to the level required to fund the government had spending over the last fifteen years increased at the rate of population plus inflation growth. But, that has not been the case.
The pox on Bush and the Republican majorities is that while revenues soared following implementation of the 2003 tax cuts, spending did as well. To be fair, much of that increased spending was related to the war on terror following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Also, the rate of GOP spending increases pale in comparison to what happened when Democrats took control of Congress beginning in 2007 and further accelerated when Obama moved into the White House in 2009.
Federal revenue rose from $1.7 trillion to $2.4 trillion from FY 1998 to 2012 as indicated. "Revenue growth averaged 2.9% annually, despite two recessions, bear markets, - and tax cuts," as David Hogberg explained in the feature article accompanying the IBD graphic.
However, federal spending rose nearly twice as fast – 5.7% per year – surging from $1.6 trillion to $3.5 trillion over the same period, notes Hogberg.
Further, the chart shows that if spending had increased over the period at the same rate as population and inflation, revenue would have trended upward about the same even allowing for the effects of the recessions. But, current spending levels are nearly $1 trillion beyond what population-plus-inflation growth increases would have dictated.
Hogberg calculates that had spending from FY1998-2012 increased consistent with population-plus-inflation growth, revenues would have exceeded spending by $177 billion – a net budget surplus! Instead, because of the dramatic increase in spending, the federal government racked up an additional $6.7 trillion of new debt.
Every objective observer knows that the elephant in the room is the out of control rate of spending increases over the last many years. True to form, however, Washington – and particularly Barack Obama - is laser focused on who they can raise tax rates on and by how much. Their efforts would be better directed at putting the Spending Genie back in the bottle.
Read more: http://goo.gl/ALHXq