Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How wrong can five “smart” men be?

 Randy Carlson is a long time friend of mine. He just happens to be a lawyer and a devout Southern Baptist. He may even be a deacon, but I’m not sure about that. His views on Constitutional law and on the Bible —as the inspired word of God —overlap mine about one, one-hundredth of the time. But we have remained friends despite his ignorance. (He will laugh out loud when he reads that.)

After reading yesterday’s blog, Randy wrote me a personal note.  At first I didn’t even want to open it, knowing I was going to be scolded for being such a leftist and radical. But I was surprised.  Randy not only agreed with me, he went beyond my own sentiments about the Hobby Lobby case.

I wish I had written this.

            “We have come to a point in our society where everyone’s little bitty inkling of what they think to be true, supersedes reality. It started a long time ago on the left, but I must say, and it pains me so to do, that as it grew into a cause for the Christian Right, it has taken on a fervor unlike anything I have ever seen.
            Regardless of what is true, what is right and what is based on science and fact, the Right has come up with a system of belief that if it (whatever it is) goes against ‘my FAITH’, then it is wrong and must be destroyed.
            That includes long held values of fair play, equal rights and liberty and justice for all. That obsession to Faith also now stands up against the Law of the Land itself.
            God help America at this time.
            Why do I say that?  Because our most high court, the Supreme Court, who should know better, has bent to the Right and made this argument a political issue inside a court of law — the highest court of law at that. It should not be a political issue, it is a legal issue, a constitutional issue, an issue of long-standing principle: An issue of rights. And those rights should be considered as facts given to and received from the Constitution of the United States: NOT THE BIBLE. I fear instead, the arguments have come from right-wing zealots and Christian do-gooders who have undone centuries of progressive law and advancement in the USA.
            When my personal faith trumps the law of the land we are in trouble.  When it is a corporation trumping it is down right scary.
            As you (John) wrote yesterday, that is, in deed, a slippery slope. But we are on it. And I fear it. As an officer of the court and one who stands before the bar on a daily basis, I fear it to no end. As a born again Christian, I fear it even more.  I fear the ultimate backlash that awaits us on the other side of this issue.
            I trust in God. I trust in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But I am sworn to uphold the laws of this land. And religion cannot be allowed to trump them. When they do, we have sunk to a form of Sharia Law; and under such, all freedoms are subject to the will and whim of a few “enlightened ones” whose faith is placed on a pedestal above all others.
            I fear the door the Supreme Court has opened, has let loose on our land a poison we have tried, since the founding of the Union, to keep at bay: that poison is religion running our state. 
            As strange as this may sound, God help us.”

Another attorney buddy of mine, Brad Echols penned: “One more step along the path of corporations having more rights than people.”

Under this court that is what is happening. It is so true it hurts.

Brad and I tend to view the world very similarly. And like I have said, Randy and I over the years have disagreed more often than we have agreed. But on this ruling, by this politicized court, we have come to a common ground.

This case was never about contraception.  After all, Hobby Lobby already provided insurance before the AHA, which provided contraception. And their retirement program invests deeply in companies who manufacture contraceptive drugs and devices. So their “life-value” argument is filled with problems and logic holes that five members of the Supreme Court failed to consider. Facts that dispute their statements of “faith.”

No. This court case was launched to usurp logic and law with the “word of God.” And that, as my friend Randy and I agree on, is very, very dangerous.

The lawyers keep weighing in William Price, Jr. said this:

"The Supreme Court depresses me. How can they rule that Corporations have "religious rights?" or that restricting Corporations' ability to donate to political campaigns is an infringement on the Corporation's freedom of speech?
Show me a corporation that bleeds in a war and maybe I will change my mind.
American are you listening? The court may have spoken but I think the people are about the speak real loudly.