'Obamacare' violates first amendment rights
May 2, 2014 at 12:02 a.m.
Editor, the Advocate:
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution denies the federal government the authority to prohibit the free exercise of religion. Exercise means practice, according to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition (1947), and Black's Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition (1951).
Titus Maccius Plautus (254-184 B.C.), a Roman playwright, wrote, "Practice yourself what you preach." St. Jerome (342-420) wrote, "Do not let your deeds belie your words, lest when you speak in church someone may say to himself, 'Why do you not practice what you preach?'" Lawyers practice their profession by representing or advising clients. To practice what one preaches or professes is to act in accordance with one's moral or legal principles. It's called integrity.
When the current president speaks about religion, he refers to "freedom of worship," which is part of the free exercise of religion. The clear implication is that, so long as we pray in church, at home or in some other private setting, government must not impede our prayers, rituals or acknowledgement of God. But evidently, one's action or refusal to act on the basis of religious principle, he considers fair game for government suppression or coercion. A case in point: Requiring employers to pay for insurance that would buy contraceptives and abortifacients for employees, in violation of employers' deeply held religious principles.
Sic semper tyrannis!
Jack A. Mullins, Victoria