Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I Think I Agreed With Obama And I Feel Sick!


Yes, I said it. I agree with the President. It occurred a month ago and it felt a little odd, like I was getting sick or passing a stone. I wasn’t sure at the time what to make of the feeling but then I realized that the nauseated feeling churning in the pot of my stomach was caused by me agreeing with one simple statement uttered by Obama at the national prayer breakfast in Washington, DC. During that event he uttered the words "around the world, freedom of religion is under threat."

Obviously, I wasn’t motivated at the time to blog about this strange feeling but certain actions by the Department of Justice have motivated me to finally sit down and write about this one moment when the hell was buried by a blizzard. Actually, it was something I read this week, a local news story that has gone international that served as the catalyst for this post. As was reported at United Press International (UPI), the DOJ is doing wonders for the public school budget in Philadelphia:

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court alleging that the School District of Philadelphia’s grooming policy is discriminatory.

The federal lawsuit claims that the policy discriminates against employees who don’t trim their beards because of religious reasons. District rules currently prevent school police and security officers from having beards that are more than a quarter of an inch long.

According to the suit, school police officer Siddiq Abu-Bakr’s Islamic faith requires him to allow his beard to grow. He had allowed his beard to grow uncut for 27 years while working for the district before being informed that he had to trim it via a written reprimand. Abu-Bakr was told continuing to violate the policy would result in “further disciplinary action.”

Abu-Bakr filed a religious discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the matter was referred to the DOJ.

“No employee should be forced to violate his religious beliefs in order to earn a living,” Spencer Lewis Jr., the director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, said in a statement. “Modifying a dress or grooming code is a reasonable accommodation that enables employees to keep working without posing an undue hardship on the employer.”

While the beard policy is a bit questionable (remember this does apply to religious Jews and Muslims alike) should it really be part of the DOJ’s purview to sue the Philadelphia public schools. Seems more like a waste of time and money, tax payer money. But, in light of my recent revelation, I am moved to support this fight for religious freedom and the expression thereof. While we may not understand many religions it doesn’t mean we should limit them, right? It is a right protected by the first amendment and we know that, as someone who taught constitutional law, the President would do anything to fight for the rights affirmed in the constitution.

Certainly, the DOJ will continue to fight for the religious freedom that we all enjoy and have the full support of this current administration. They would never force someone to do something against their religious beliefs. They would fight for us to make sure those rights are not infringed.

Wait, what’s that? What did you just scream at the screen? Hobby what?  

Oh, that’s right. The DOJ, with the full support of this administration, selectively fights for the religious freedom of the people. Those they don’t agree with they tend to get very angry and judgmental and fight to quash there overly conservative, outdated ideals because if it is not something they believe then it can’t be true and must be suppressed. If that weren’t bad enough, throw in Obamacare and we really have a constitutional CF on our hands. As Ed Whelan write in The National Review:

The pertinent legal question under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Free Exercise Clause is whether the massive fines that an employer faces for providing an employee health plan that does not comply with the HHS mandate substantially burden the employer’s exercise of religion. As Hobby Lobby spells out (pp. 34-44 of its brief), the answer to that question is clearly “yes” under the Court’s precedents. Indeed, “‘a fine imposed for adherence to religious beliefs is as direct and obvious a burden as one could imagine.” (Brief at 36-37.)… But a victory for Hobby Lobby will not change the fact that the decision whether or not to use embryo-killing drugs or devices will remain entirely with the employees. What it will mean is that employers will not be dragooned to be complicit in conduct that violates their religious consciences.  

Oh, wait, that’s right, Obama doesn’t really care about our rights or the constitution. I am starting to feel much better now. It might have just been gas but I think the origination of the stench was from an external source. All it took was a reminder of how much the President enjoys lying to us all, liberal and conservative alike, as a means to further his own agenda. This is the reason why he picks and choses which amendments to support and which ones he tries to rip from the parchment. And the ones he does ‘support’ only apply to those with whom he agrees.

This is, at the very least, a disturbing stance which has been adopted by both the President and the Department of Justice. We must be vocal in our opposition to such hypocrisy and pay particularly close attention to those who promote ‘ideals’ that are supported by selective adherence to the Constitution! That is our responsibility to ourselves and to our country.