July 1, 2014

In a news conference Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that while the President will work with Congress to “make sure that any women affected by this decision will still have the same coverage of vital health services as everyone else,” he will also consider possible opportunities to act on his own. The decision to which he refers is the 5 to 4 decision to strike a portion of the President's signature bill which violates the religious beliefs of family owned businesses.

Many, including Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, predicted this may happen. In a tweet from his Twitter account, Jindal said: "Barack Obama is now googling 'Can an Executive Order override Supreme Court?"

If I know Obama's history, and I certainly do, he didn't need to google the issue. He is already planning a working around, just as he has done and is doing and will continue to do with Congress.

Consider this:

In light of today’s other big announcement – that Obama will use executive powers to take on immigration – as well as the wave of additional executive orders that he’s already issued (and for which he is being sued), there is no reason to think that he won’t use the same approach when it comes to abortion coverage.

While the phrase, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” is a noble one, it does not apply here. The Constitution doesn’t give the President of the United States the legal right to bypass laws set by other branches of government- even when those laws make him mad.

As for the Supreme Court, the justices have handed a slew full of set backs to our Emperor, and four big one in the last ten days.

Monday was a banner day as it trumped Obama’s brazen claim of power and authority to define which religious convictions, if any, have a proper place in the health care arena.

The Hahn and Green families were victorious for carrying to the high court their plea to be released from the duty of providing employees with contraceptive coverage under Obamacare. Never mind (as the government saw it before the ruling) the two families' religiously grounded conviction that the mandate violated their religious beliefs and moral principles, potentially implicating them in the destruction of unborn life.

The families, we should all note, didn’t mind covering in their insurance plans the majority of contraceptives mandated by the government; they opposed only a few devices, including the morning-after pill, which prevents the implantation of already fertilized eggs. Why couldn’t the Health and Human Services Department, the court majority wondered aloud, work out for the family-owned companies involved – the Greens at Hobby Lobby, the Hahns at Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. – exemptions like those already granted religiously affiliated non-profits?

An answer that skirts the Supreme Court’s deliberative language is ready at hand. It is that the administration doesn’t care a rap about the religious rights asserted by the Hahns and the Greens. It has other religious rights in mind – the ones to which its voters and supporters, promoters and intellectual apologists seem most profoundly committed.

These latter rights are not conventionally thought of as religious. No scriptural quotations, no theological disquisitions, adorn them. They are religious all the same in their centeredness upon a single gospel of salvation – the Gospel of “I Want.”

The great quest of the late 20th century, all the more imperative in the 21st, is to bring the concept of human need, human potential, into line with human desire, eschewing all the old “pie in the sky” stuff. Talking about Now; talking about Me.

The court, in its Hobby Lobby-Conestoga decision, said “no” to Me. Or, rather, it said, “Look. Other people have rights, too.” That’s exactly the thing you don’t say to all the modern evangelists for Me – bloggers, comedians, Ivy League faculty, lawyers, panelists on “The View.” You don’t tell them anything in the world stands between modern Americans and the satisfaction of all desires.

Certainly the court told them no such thing two years ago in striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, seeming thereby to disfavor state-imposed obstacles to same-sex marriage. Barely half the states today maintain their old insistence on the old norms for family formation.

 The court majority declared that it was not in their purview to say that religious beliefs are mistaken or insubstantial.

But a considerable portion of America does that precise job by substituting for the old ways, the old beliefs, heavy on self-denial and obedience, its own gospel of non-denial, non-obedience: the Gospel of “I Want.” This is especially so when the desire in question is sexual. Personal control of the body is what the “I Want” gospel affirms, which is why the government took so ungenerous a view in making as tight as possible the escape hatches from the contraceptive mandate: OK, churches, if we have to, but nobody else, certainly not weirdos without theology degrees.

If I want, I deserve, constitutionally speaking. This much the Gospel makes clear. Or, at least, the Social Gospel. The Social Gospel is the only one heralded by the Obama Administration. This gospel the court was supposed to affirm, with the back of the hand for religious types obsessed, supposedly, by what goes on in other people’s bedrooms.

The court didn’t affirm any such thing. It expressed sympathy and understanding for holdouts against the “I Want” regime. From whose spokesmen we may count on a loud and passionate outcry against religious bigotry. That another kind of religious bigotry, measured in contemptuous statements about our civilization’s onetime Judeo-Christian consensus, might be even a greater threat to life and liberty – we likely won’t hear much of. But we deserve to.

Not to worry "I Want"ers, your "god", er, emperor, hears you and, like Gov. Jindal thinks and believes, is already planning a way to circumvent the Court. Stay tuned,...the work-around is in the works.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.