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Obama’s War on the First Amendment

Written by Phyllis Schlafly

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When Barack Obama said he planned to "fundamentally transform" the United States, he wasn't referring only to spreading the wealth around or even to conforming our foreign-trade regulations to the dictates of globalist busybodies. He is also working openly and covertly, through administrative regulations and supremacist judges' decisions, to change us into a sanitized secular nation.

The cutting edge of Obama's war against religion will come into public view on March 25 when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about the Obama Administration's attempt to force private companies, such as Hobby Lobby, to cover abortion-inducing drugs for their employees even though the company's owners are morally opposed to such drugs. Hobby Lobby has courageously stood up for its religious principles against this requirement despite the threat of fines of $1.3 million daily for not complying with this Obamacare mandate.

Another company, Conestoga Wood, has also stood up against this suffocating infringement on freedom of religion by Obamacare. The Supreme Court will hear both cases on the same day.

Hobby Lobby is a prime example of America as a land of opportunity. The family- owned company started in 1970 with a $600 loan and a garage workshop, and today boasts 588 stores in 47 states and 13,000 full-time employees.

The owners are devout Christians who treat their employees extra well, donate a big hunk of their profits to charity, and are closed on Sundays. The issue in the Supreme Court case is that the Obama Administration is trying to force Hobby Lobby's owners to provide abortion-inducing products that violate their religious beliefs.

Hobby Lobby's owners are not demanding that those products be banned or that anyone (including employees or customers) be prohibited from buying or using them. Hobby Lobby's owners just do not want to insure items that violate their religious beliefs.

This same Obama argument is already being used against adoption service providers and against Catholic hospitals. But all that is only the beginning of Obama's direct attack on religion.

We are already seeing regiments of Obamaites prosecuting smaller and smaller business owners who invoke the First Amendment to be faithful to their religious principles. These include the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage and the photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex marriage ceremony, although they were quite willing to do any other business with gay customers.

The supremacist judge who ruled against the photographer and imposed a fine pompously declared it "the price of citizenship." Has kowtowing to Obama's redefinition of the First Amendment now become the price of American citizenship and of doing business in the United States?

Will all denominations be ordered by some judge to recognize same-sex marriages? Will churches that refuse an order to conform be hit with steep and ongoing fines like the fines that threaten Hobby Lobby, or be denied tax exemption? Make no mistake; we are in a war for religious liberty.

One of Obama's famous lies is: If you like your insurance, you can keep it. We can now almost hear him saying, If you like your religion, you can keep it; but just as Obamacare lets you keep your insurance only if it complies with obnoxious federal regulations, Obama wants you to be able to keep your religion only if you speak your words of faith behind closed doors, and only if you pay tremendous fines to the government. That doesn't meet any recognized definition of our First Amendment's "free exercise" of religion.

Since Obama became President, two other groups have joined his anti-religion campaign, the military and the public school system. Perhaps they want to curry favor with the Commander-in-Chief or with the grant-awarding bureaucrats in the Department of Education, or maybe they merely want to show they are politically correct.

Obama has made it clear that he doesn't want any expression of religious faith in any public place, including buildings or schools or events. He wants to redefine the First Amendment from "free exercise" to "freedom of worship," which means you would only be able to go inside your church, shut and perhaps lock the doors, and say a prayer where no one else can hear you.

When the Founding Fathers wrote "free exercise" of religion into the Constitution, they meant public as well as private exercise. Most of the famous people in American history talked openly about their faith and religion, and public expression of faith in God and religious principles by America's leaders has been part of our history and culture since the beginning.

phyllis-300dpi-dPhyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, she appears in debate on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative. She was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by the Ladies' Home Journal

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