From American Thinker:
Someone once famously distilled some two centuries of American debate over individual “rights” into a single sentence: “Your right to extend your fist,” he said, “ends about one inch short of the tip of my nose.”
There’s wisdom there, but the wag who made the joke underestimated, as all of us do, the lengths to which some noses will go (and grow) to close that all-important gap.
World Magazine carried a revealing item during the Democratic National Convention about a little gathering of noses in Charlotte. Representatives of several groups tried to draw bystanders into their celebration of the president’s abortion pill mandate — a mandate that compels business owners across the country to pay for insurance that covers their employees’ abortion pills, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures.
Many of those business owners cherish personal faith convictions that preclude their providing the means for others to destroy life. The Obama administration has made it manifestly clear that it doesn’t care: religious freedom must be sacrificed to sexual freedom. And the life of a child in the womb doesn’t really rate when compared to what his mother wants, no matter what that is.
On this particular day of the convention, this particular coterie of activists — determined, in their own words, “not [to] allow conservative politicians and religious leaders to redefine the meaning of religious liberty” — invited bystanders to listen while they redefined the meaning of religious liberty.
Sara Hutchinson of Catholics for Choice, for instance, defined true religious freedom as “the right to be respected as a moral decision maker … to follow one’s own conscience and religious beliefs.” She made it clear, however, that this is a freedom available only to individuals; owners of businesses, private schools, and hospitals forfeit their freedom just by going into business. Interestingly enough, she said religious groups should not have religious freedom, either.
“Individuals have conscience; institutions do not,” she said.
But — someone dared ask — what of individuals who run institutions?
They “are serving as an institution in that capacity,” Ms. Hutchinson explained. In other words, it’s not so much religious freedom that a business owner surrenders as…freedom of every kind.