© Original content written by James R. Carlson
The States of Pennsylvania, California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia are teaming up to sue the Trump administration’s policy on defunding contraception. They are claiming that the burden to pay for these services will fall upon them if the federal government does not pay for them. The trouble, however, is not a lack of funding but a lack of perspective. The government should not facilitate contraception at any level, which is what these State’s Attorneys General are asking for; contraception is not a Civil Right.
According to constitutional principles, the government is supposed to provide for Civil Rights. Civil Rights are those areas of responsibility where the government should facilitate what We the People cannot do on our own. The right to vote has no meaning if the government doesn’t facilitate a polling place where we can register our vote; this is something we cannot do on our own. Contraception, although not illegal, is not something the Constitution says the government should facilitate. Again, contraception is not a Civil Right.
Civil liberties are the joint responsibility of the People and the government. People facilitate their own liberties whereas the government protects them by law. Contraception is a freedom that people have in America that is protected by the law but that does not mean it is something the law should facilitate. These State’s Attorneys General are not approaching this issue correctly as they are defending civil liberties in terms of civil rights. There is no legal foundation for their complaint as such.
Let’s review the issue of the Separation of Church and State. Ideally, the government should be based upon the second tablet of the Ten Commandments and not both tablets (please see earlier blogs on this subject). As such we have religious freedoms (first tablet) and civil freedoms (second table), which may also be called civil liberties. According to the original Christian rationalist perspective of separation, the government is to base law upon moral principles (even Biblical ones). And where there is no right to do what is wrong, there is a right to do what is right.
Unfortunately, the culture wars of our nation are perverting the judgment of our Courts to extend the idea of civil liberties into areas of immoral behavior. The ACLU has championed the notion of immorality as a civil liberty for decades. Yet, they do not support the idea of the freedom to do what is right. Those who bake cakes are penalized for following their conscience when it comes to moral issues. The people who follow morality and righteous lifestyles are penalized for doing so.
The patriots back in 1776 stood for the right of self-determination or the right of self-government. However, that was not in the modern context where people argue for the freedom to do what is wrong. They were standing for the freedom to do what is right! What does the government have to say with people who are already doing what they’re supposed to do in the eyes of God?! Standing up for what is right, doing what is right, is what self-governance is all about!
Clearly the culture wars will continue without abatement and the left wing of society who rationalize away mores and morality will find a way to convince the Courts to share their dogma. However, we are losing our freedoms to do what is right and follow our conscience before God. This is what religious freedom was once all about. Now, with atheism and secularism dominating the Courts, we are in jeopardy of losing these freedoms and liberties.
Although recent court cases have decided in favor of those arguing for religious freedom, this is a case more for civil freedoms and liberties not religious freedoms. Now, civil liberties (freedoms) are being opposed by false claims of civil rights. People should be free, have liberty, to do what is right. The culture wars will continue until we get this right.