Christians are reacting to this week’s Supreme Court announcement on ObamaCare. Dr. Gene Rudd, senior vice president of the Christian Medical Association, is disappointed and alarmed, reports onenewsnow.com. Rudd says the high court decision basically endorses the healthcare law, which will lead to a severe encroachment on the rights of conscience and the exercise of religion. “By the court not making the decision to send this back as being unconstitutional, it allows to stand what Congress has put in place,” he summarized. “And what Congress has put in place then allows the branches of government to come in, and it allows Health and Human Services, for example, to come in and decide what a religious organization is.” Rudd reports that HHS is now saying some faith-based groups do not qualify for an exemption. “A Catholic hospital is going to be forced to do sterilizations and provide abortifacient drugs against their convictions or . . . go about of business,” he warns. But that is a consequence of the court not overruling the individual mandate. With justices ruling that the insurance mandate is a tax, the CMA senior vice president adds that some of the citizens’ individual freedoms have been given to the government. The Becket Fund is concerned about mandates to provide free insurance coverage for contraception, the “morning-after” pill, and sterilization, even though that might violate one’s faith. The Becket Fund and the Alliance Defense Fund are representing clients in many of the 23 lawsuits filed to challenge the mandates. Those are all set to go forward. Dr. Merrill Matthews, resident scholar at The Institute for Policy Innovation, said, Here’s the worst part of it—under this, the Democrats were able to say we did not pass a tax increase for the purpose of reelection, but get it all implemented on the virtue of it being a tax increase. That’s sort of the worst of all possible outcomes.” On the other hand, the scholar believes this decision will help unify conservatives under GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Though the high court upheld ObamaCare, Matthews concludes that November will reveal what the public thinks about it. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, maintains that ObamaCare is fundamentally flawed legislation because it makes American taxpayers complicit in the deaths of countless unborn children, reports charismanews.com. She said Thursday’s decision to uphold the individual mandate to force individuals to purchase health care plans that offend their conscience is incredibly disappointing: “Over the last four years, President Obama has revealed his loyalty to the abortion industry. At no time was this clearer than during the health care reform debate, when he fought tenaciously for the largest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade.” Southern Baptist leaders expressed deep disappointment with the opinion, reports Baptist Press. “It is astonishing that the majority of the justices did not see the bill for what it really is: a blatant violation of the personal freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and perhaps a mortal blow to the concept of federalism,” ERLC President Richard Land said in a written statement. The Republican leadership of the House of Representatives announced it would hold a vote July 11 to repeal the health care law. The House is likely to approve the proposal, but the Democrat-led Senate undoubtedly will reject it. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president in November’s election, said in a written statement, “What the Court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.” Jerry Newcombe, writing in the The Christian Post, has offered thoughts concerning the Supreme Court ruling this week: “My first reaction to the Obamacare decision was: Well, it was a great country while it lasted. My second reaction to the Obamacare decision is to re-remember just how important elections are.” Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice came out strongly against the Supreme Court decision: “We are already working with Congress to pass a full repeal of ObamaCare, and our multiple lawsuits against Planned Parenthood and the abortion-pill mandate continue. Our work has increased but so has our determination to stop pro-abortion ObamaCare. . . . This law is not what our nation needs or deserves.”
- For the first time in the history of the U.S. military, the Pentagon auditorium on Tuesday was the setting for a celebration of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transexuality that included short addresses by the commander and chief and the defense secretary via video, reports cnsnews.com. President Barack Obama’s video message was initially released on June 1, the first day of Gay Pride Month. In the message, Obama praises lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans as “unsung heroes.” “Bit by bit, step by step, they bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice,” Obama said. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s video message was also featured on the purple program handed out at the event, which included a panel of gay men and women speaking about their experiences in the U.S. military. “Diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” Panetta said. “During Pride Month, and every month, let us celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equality for all.” Keynote speaker Jeh Johnson, general counsel for the Department of Defense and the person credited for spearheading the effort to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said that the next step is to mount efforts to provide federal benefits to “partners and other family members of gay and lesbian service members.” But, Johnson said, the Defense of Marriage Act hinders that effort. “We must follow current law, including the Defense of Marriage Act,” Johnson said. “Though the Justice Department has said it will not defend the constitutionality of DOMA in court, until final resolution of that issue, adherence to the law is basic to the military and central to our efforts.” The Defense of Marriage Act is a law, enacted under President Bill Clinton in 1996, which states that for all federal purposes marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman. It also says that no state is required to legally recognize a same-sex marriage recognized in another state.
- “If you had only a few minutes to gather up a few select treasures of your life before fleeing a raging inferno, what would you take—and what would you leave behind?” asks a story in The Christian Post relating to the fires occurring in Colorado. Families in Colorado Springs were faced with this very question this past Tuesday. In just a matter of minutes, a wildfire that had been contained in canyons bordering the city swept down through the hillsides. The sky, which had been sunny, turned red. Ash and cinders rained down for miles in every direction. Over 32,000 people were evacuated from their neighborhoods in Colorado Springs Tuesday afternoon. What does it do to a person to flee their home from a raging fire with only minutes to spare? “You’re reminded again what’s most important,” one of the evacuees reflected. “Life can change in an instant. We might think we know what lies beyond sight, but we don’t.”
- San Francisco police have arrested veteran gay rights advocate Larry Brinkin in connection with felony possession of child pornography, reports sfgate.com. Brinkin, 66, who worked for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission before his retirement in 2010, was taken into custody last Friday night. He spent the night in jail before he was released on bail, according to a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department. Police say that Brinkin had pornographic images, some that appear to show children as young as 1 and 2 or 3 years old, in e-mail attachments linked to his account, according to a search warrant served by San Francisco police. During his 22-year tenure at the Human Rights Commission, Brinkin was best known for championing equal rights for gays and lesbians. He helped craft San Francisco’s groundbreaking Equal Benefits Ordinance, which became a national model for workplace equality. Upon Brinkin’s retirement, the Board of Supervisorsapproved a resolution declaring the week of Feb. 1, 2010, “Larry Brinkin Week” in San Francisco, saying his “dedication to advance the civil rights of all people has never stopped.”
- California pro-life advocates are worried that the third time may be the charm for a bill in the state legislature that would allow nurses to perform abortions, reports lifenews.com. The bill has already failed twice before. However, it appears the legislative situation has changed thanks to a trick from the pro-abortion lawmaker sponsoring it, and the bill could find itself on the fast track through the legislature, according to the California Family Council. “Beyond the moral considerations of killing a life, using women as lab rats for such serious procedures flies in the face of the pro-abortion movement’s mantra, which for decades has been to provide trained physicians to prevent botched abortions,” the CFC complains. The Assembly Health Committee has set a hearing for the bill on July 3 and the panel includes 12 Democrats and six Republicans, making it more likely that the measure will receive approval from the panel.
- A legal dispute between the state and a Christians-only health care plan is continuing to simmer after a decade of legal wrangling that has made it all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court, reports miamiherald.com. The case pits the Kentucky Department of Insurance against Medi-Share, a cost-sharing ministry that helps to pay medical bills for Christians who don’t smoke, drink, or engage in sex outside of marriage. Lawyers for the state want a judge to hold Medi-Share in contempt of court for continuing to operate in Kentucky more than a year after justices ruled the ministry is subject to the same regulations as secular insurance providers. Meanwhile, Medi-Share has asked for a hearing to explain changes the ministry has made since the Supreme Court ruling that could resolve the contentious issue.
- A German court has ruled that circumcising male infants for religious reasons, as Jews in particular have done for thousands of years, constitutes grievous bodily harm and is a crime, regardless of parental consent, reports cnsnews.com. A public health specialist who is also a traditional Jewish circumciser called the ruling “stupid,” suggesting Wednesday that while “politically-correct modern liberal thinkers” would not be open to persuasion about Jewish values, they should at least consider studies finding wide-ranging health benefits from the procedure.
- Da Tagliare, reporting in godfatherpolitics.com, notes that it isn’t just Hispanics who are crossing U.S. borders illegally. “Of the illegals captured along the Mexican border, 46,997 were listed as ‘other than Mexican’. Among the ‘other than Mexican’ were people from countries listed as ‘special interest countries’ such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Somalia, Tunisia, Syria, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Indonesia. Looking at the countries of origin, I think it’s safe to assume that many of them were Muslim, making me wonder how many may have terrorist ties. I do know that in Arizona, they have found Muslim prayer rugs and copies of the Quran in the southern desert just north of the border. If they’ve been found in Arizona, you can pretty much figure that they’ve also been found in California, New Mexico and Texas. And from the reports I’ve read out of various Arizona county sheriffs’ departments, there are a lot more that get away than the number caught. Not only are there illegal Muslims entering the U.S., but is anyone watching the U.S.-Canadian border? There are 5,525 miles of border we share with Canada, and that includes 1,538 miles that borders Alaska. Over the past few years, it seems that everyone is focusing on the southern border and the coasts, but very little is mentioned about the miles of the northern border.”