…respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
But the free exercise of religion is under attack (so is free speech) by the left, in the persons of the mayors of major US cities. Ross Douthat:
But Mrs. Obama’s words notwithstanding, there seems to be a great deal of confusion about this point in the Western leadership class today.
You can see this confusion at work in the Obama White House’s own Department of Health and Human Services, which created a religious exemption to its mandate requiring employers to pay for contraception, sterilization and the days-after pill that covers only churches, and treats religious hospitals, schools and charities as purely secular operations. The defenders of the H.H.S. mandate note that it protects freedom of worship, which indeed it does. But a genuine free exercise of religion, not so much.
I’ll send you over there to read the rest of the attacks on the free exercise of religion that Douthat enumerates – including the mention of the anti-American values mayors. His point is that the people claiming to respect freedom of religion – or, in fact, most of the Constitutional rights of Americans (whichever amendment) do not.
They want those rights taken away, but dare not say that out loud.
And so they posture loudly, then quietly walk back their comments. Until the next time. They work at this like the ocean waves washing toward a child’s sand castle. Each wave encroaches a bit higher each time until the waves can wash away the sandcastle.
They’ve started their cascade of waves with the attack on religious organizations and the free speech of a Christian businessman. The next wave will try to reach higher.
There is no such thing as a small infringement of rights.