Monday, December 31, 2012

When the Shoe Is On the Other Foot

On April 28th, 1967, the Heavyweight Champion of the World, Muhammad Ali violated Federal law by refusing induction into the US Army.  Ali cited his newly-converted-to religion of Islam's teaching of peace (which explains the 2000 years of peace in the Middle East) as grounds for his refusal.  He was summarily charged with Draft Evasion and was convicted by a Federal Court--but was not jailed while awaiting his appeal.  Ali was also stripped of his Heavyweight Title and was effectively banned from fighting in the United States.

Liberals--then calling themselves "The Counter Culture"--immediately embraced Ali and supported his effort to claim religious freedom in battling a Federal Law.  Ali was invited to speak on college campuses and at political rallies.  His fight was championed by Howard Cosell of ABC Sports--who used every opportunity to point out that Ali's religious beliefs superceded the powers of the US Government to make him serve in the military. 

Eventually, the US Supreme Court would overturn Ali's conviction--ruling that he could claim being a conciencious objector to war.  Ali was allowed to fight again, won the Heavyweight Title (twice).  He then lit the Olympic Flame at the Atlanta games and is generally revered as an American Hero--all thanks to standing up to the Federal Government to practice his religious beliefs.

Tomorrow, January 1st, 2013, Hobby Lobby Founder and President David Green will violate the Federal Affordable Care Act by refusing to pay for medically-induced abortions as part of his company's health insurance plan.  Green is citing his life-long Christian faith and it's teaching on the sanctity of life (which explains the 2000 years of peace in Northern Ireland, Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, South and Central Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America) as grounds for his refusal.  The Federal Government will now fine Green and Hobby Lobby $100 per employee--or $1.4 MILLION A DAY for non-compliance.  Such a fine will quickly put Hobby Lobby out of business--closing hundreds of retail stores throughout the country and costing 14-thousand people their jobs.

However, Liberals--now calling themselves "Progressives"--are not embracing Green and his effort to claim religious freedom in battling a Federal Law.  There will be no invitations to speak at college campuses or political rallies.  Rachel Maddow will not champion his fight on MSNBC--using every opportunity to point out that Green's religious rights supercede the powers of the US Government to tell him what health insurance benefits his company should provide.

One member of the Supreme Court (Justice Sonia Sotomayor--an appointee of President Obama) has already rejected Green's challenge to the law on the Appeals level--but it is still too early to tell if the entire Court will rule if there can be religious objectors to the abortion and birth control provisions of the ACA.  Either way, I doubt the public school history books will include chapters dedicated to David Green's fight for his Constitutional Rights.

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