This past July 4th, my wife and I dispensed with our traditional way of observing this most sacred of all national holidays: no barbecue sharing with friends adorned in festive red-white-blue colors; no Sousa selections pulsating from a portable disc-player; and certainly no attendance at fireworks’ displays. Our one concession was watching TV segments of the fabulously inspiring biographical portrait of John Adams as he shepherded, at great cost, the 13 colonies from British tyranny to the independence and liberty of the United States. Given the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Obamacare statute, that concession seemed so much more appropriate than feigning patriotic exuberance.
To characterize the Supreme Court’s decision as disastrous for our nation and personal freedoms is a gross understatement. Cataclysmic comes a tad closer to describing the reality we now face. And the hubbub over whether the mandated payment for failing to purchase healthcare insurance is a penalty or a tax is simply a ridiculous exercise in sophomoric pedantry. As Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s chief White House adviser, jubilantly exclaimed, “We’ll take it any way we can get it.” And lest you think she was talking about revenue or healthcare benefits, she wasn’t. Her meaning and the consequences of this hideous court decision were captured in the dissenters’ opinion, “…to make mere breathing in and out the basis for federal prescription and to extend federal power to virtually all human activity”. If this characterization of the consequences of the court’s ruling weren’t chilling enough, the dissenters went further and observed, citing another of their case’s holding: “If we accept the Government’s arguments, we are hard pressed to posit any activity by an individual that Congress is without power to regulate”. But it is worse than that. It isn’t just “any activity”. It is also any inactivity, such as failing to purchase healthcare insurance, an electric car, or broccoli. Simply put, the Supreme Court has destroyed our God-given right to be self-directing.
If all this doesn’t push you to the outer limits of your capacity to cope with depression, let me help you along that path a bit further. Electing Mitt Romney President, electing a Republican Party majority in both Congressional houses, and repeal of Obamacare will be too little and too late. This Supreme Court opinion will still empower the Federal Government beyond the prohibitions of the Constitution. As it took another Supreme Court opinion, Brown v. Board of Education (1954), to undo its own ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), that had created the “separate but equal” educational standard for blacks in our country, so will it take another Supreme Court opinion to undo this calamity.
Are you still optimistic? Then you have forgotten the federal government’s mandate, issued by Kathleen Sebilius, Health and Human Services Secretary, that all employers, with some exceptions, must provide their employees with free health insurance coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and surgical sterilizations, contrary to the religious tenants of many faiths. This mandate emanates from the Obamacare statute (so much for the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom). Despite the fact that this Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t dismiss the challenges to Sebilius’ mandate, it doesn’t bode well for them.
Have I lost all hope for our Constitution and the God-given liberties and freedoms that it has guaranteed for more than 220 years? No. But it will take our prayerful return, and the government’s, upon our demand, to the fundamental principle upon which our nation was founded, “In God We Trust”. Only then will we accomplish the restoration of our nation to a Republic of limited government. The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence believed firmly that Divine Providence was instrumental in our nation’s founding. If we continue to ignore and displace God’s rightful place in our public life and decisions, we assure our liberty’s demise.
John A. Donnelly
Carolina Shores, N.C.
The writer lives in xxxs