Tuesday 31st May 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

The Left And The Right Flip

April 25, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

We do not want to promote an unhealthy cynicism among our children. But neither do we want them to be gullible. We have been given an example in recent weeks of how — often enough to matter — when people argue “on principle,” they are doing no such thing; that they want what they want and will choose the principle that helps them achieve that end.
We take it for granted that some people argue a case that way: lawyers, for example. We expect their primary objective to be winning the case for their client. If that takes using a literal reading of the law to exclude some evidence as inadmissible we expect them to do that, even if they were arguing for giving the police greater leeway during an arrest just the week before in a previous case. Lawyers do not pretend that they will be willing to sacrifice their client’s interests to satisfy an abstract legal principle. Their clients expect them to seek out the legal principle that will help them in the trial: period.
Politicians, pundits, and academics do not argue in that way. They make their case as if principle is their primary concern, as if they are not seeking their self-interest as much as “the right thing,” whether it be in pursuit of individual rights, states rights, judicial restraint, or a “loose” interpretation of the Constitution to provide for the needs of a changing society. The problem is that they change their tune when it suits their needs. For example, opponents of an “imperial presidency” begin arguing the case for executive power as an expression of the national will once their side wins a presidential election; and vice-versa.
We were given an example of how this flip-flop occurs in recent weeks, one that can serve well as a classroom example of the phenomenon. It revolved around the Obamacare HHS mandate and how it affected the retail chain Hobby Lobby. The two sides in the dispute have been well documented. The owners of Hobby Lobby protest that it is a violation of their religious freedom to require them to purchase a health-care package for their employees that covers contraceptives that the owners consider abortifacients. The Obama administration disagrees, contending that the owners of the company have no right to restrict the rights of their employees who disagree on the morality of the contraceptives in question.
Where’s the flip-flop? W. James Antle III documented it on March 29 on the web site National Interest (nationalinterest.org). He points out that it was liberals back in 1993 who pushed for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The purpose of the law was to defend the right of Native Americans to use peyote in their religious rituals. The Supreme Court had taken away that right when it upheld an Oregon law forbidding the use of the illegal drug in Native Americans’ religious ceremonies. Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion in the case; liberal justice Harry Blackmun the dissent.
The liberal position, writes Antle, was to “endorse the principle that the government must have a compelling interest in making a person act contrary to his or her religious conscience. Whatever the First Amendment implications of the Hobby Lobby case, it is impossible to argue the contraception mandate meets that test. Large swaths of the American public are already exempt from the mandate, so how compelling could the government interest be?”
What has changed since the 1990s? Antle contends the “specific freedom in question and the plaintiff in the case” regarding peyote use by Native Americans “were likely to arouse liberal sympathies. Not so traditionalist Catholics who don’t want to subsidize contraception or evangelicals who don’t want to photograph a same-sex wedding.” Seeking to be fair, Antle observes, “One could argue these different circumstances play a role in conservatives taking a different position too.”
“White liberals,” Antle continues, react differently to the owners of Hobby Lobby than to the Native Americans in the 1990s because they “have become more secular in the last two decades. In 2012, Barack Obama carried 62 percent of voters who never attend church while Mitt Romney took 34 percent.” This has resulted in “an almost comical inability to comprehend what religious practice really entails beyond attendance at worship services or prayer. Others simply view religious people as conservative political opponents with misguided, perhaps even evil and bigoted, views.”
Hence, the religious freedom of Native Americans deserves protection under the law, but the religious freedom of the owners of Hobby Lobby needs to be restrained for the greater good of society as a whole. The principle of religious freedom is sacrosanct in one instance, a threat to the commonweal in the other. Flip-flop.
On another topic: the ongoing debate over Common Core. The supporters of these federal mandates over local education are using a tactic that they are also using in regard to Obamacare. They are arguing that it is “settled law” and that it is too late to do anything as “radical” as seeking to reverse this legislation. The goal seems to be to wear down opponents of Common Core, to make them think it futile to continue to oppose this inevitable change for our schools.
Much of the country seems not yet ready to admit to defeat. The online edition of National Review on April 2 reports that Oklahoma and Indiana are illustrating that there are ways for the states to assert their rights in the face of the federal government’s attempt to impose Common Core’s standards upon them. Alec Torres of National Review reports, “The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday to withdraw the state from the Common Core standards. If the bill is signed by Gov. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma will become the second state to withdraw from Common Core. Indiana withdrew last week with Gov. Mike Pence’s signature.”
Fallin seems likely to sign the bill. In 2013, Fallin issued an executive order directing the secretary of education in Oklahoma to make sure the federal government “does not intrude in Oklahoma’s development of academic curricula and teaching strategies.” Indiana Gov. Pence expressed the same concerns when he withdrew his state from Common Core’s standards. He praised Fallin in a statement to the press criticizing Common Core.
The bottom line: Common Core is not a fait accompli. Opponents of Common Core around the country can point to what happened in Indiana and Oklahoma to underscore the point. The sky didn’t fall after the governors in those states took their stand against the federal government in the name of local control over education.

+    +    +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford CT 06492.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Amoris Laetitia is ‘objectively unclear’ since even bishops have conflicting interpretations: Cardinal Caffarra

ROME, May 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The cardinal tasked by Saint Pope John Paul II 36 years ago with founding an institute to study marriage and the family has criticized Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation on the family for lacking…Continue Reading

34% of “Pro-Choice” Women Who See This Viral Video Turn Against Abortion

A new four-minute viral video is causing over a third — 34 percent — of “pro-choice” women surveyed to view abortion “less favorably.” And 28 percent of pro-choice women who watched the video stated there should be more restrictions on…Continue Reading

‘Biblically wrong’: Oklahoma lawmakers urge Obama’s impeachment over transgender bathrooms

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced legislation calling for President Barack Obama to be impeached because of his administration’s support for transgender bathrooms. Another bill calls for a declaration of emergency in the state. In a measure called Senate Concurrent Resolution…Continue Reading

Oklahoma legislature passes bill making it a felony to perform abortions

Lawmakers in Oklahoma approved a bill Thursday that would make performing abortions a felony and revoke the medical licenses of most physicians who assist in such procedures. This sweeping measure, which opponents described as unconstitutional and unprecedented, now heads to…Continue Reading

Unanimous Win for Little Sisters of the Poor at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet…Continue Reading

Conservatives outraged over Obama transgender directive to public schools

The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.” The administration’s directive…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death

Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm…Continue Reading

ACLU launches campaign to strip Catholic hospitals of federal funds

NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic hospitals across the U.S. are “withholding emergency care” and denying “essential health services,” the ACLU is alleging in a new campaign. They also inflict harm on “transgender and gender-non-conforming patients” “when seeking…Continue Reading

Harvard Law Professor Says Pro-Life Christians Should be Treated Like Nazis

Every day, it seems, the United States is becoming a more hostile environment for people with pro-life and conservative positions. Abortion activists constantly challenge pro-life laws, stall abortion industry investigations, force religious objectors to pay for abortions and attack life-affirming…Continue Reading

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Notre Dame is Wrong

Notre Dame’s Great Scandal: Honoring Vice President Biden By Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family: The University of Notre Dame has announced that they intend to confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in…Continue Reading

DoJ to North Carolina: You Have Until Monday to Reverse Bathroom Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the Department of Justice that gives him until Monday to reverse his state’s controversial bathroom bill, reports The Hill. The DoJ said the law is in violation of the federal Civil…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .      

Today . . .

Pope Francis at Santa Marta: memory, prophecy, hope

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Monday morning. In remarks to the faithful following the Readings of the Day, the Holy Father focused on the threefold theme of the dynamic unity in Christian life, the signs of which are living memory, the prophetic spirit, and the sure horizon of hope. The Pope took as the central focus of his reflection the Gospel passage of the day…Continue Reading

">Ronald Reagan . . . Memorial Day Address

Planned Parenthood sponsors bill to make it illegal to record and post undercover footage

A bill making its way through the California State Assembly, sponsored by Planned Parenthood, seeks to make it a crime to publish conversations with certain health care providers, notably those associated with abortion facilities. California has already squashed the rights of pro-life pregnancy centers, demanding they offer abortion as an option to their clients, despite their pro-life mission. Now, Planned Parenthood and CA Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez think it’s a fine idea to prosecute someone from posting a “photo…Continue Reading

South Carolina governor signs ban on abortion for babies who feel pain

CHARLESTON, May 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – South Carolina has joined 13 other states that forbid abortions to be performed on unborn children capable of feeling pain. As expected, Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Wednesday. The law restricts abortion to the first 19 weeks of pregnancy. “South Carolina took a courageous stand to protect women’s health and safety in limiting abortion at a point at which the risks…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Perseverance in prayer needed, but not “magic wand”

pope908

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said “prayer is not a magic wand.” He was speaking during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope was discussing the Parable of the Unjust Judge – also known as the Parable of the Persistent Widow – from the Gospel of Luke. In the parable, the persistence of a widow forces the unjust judge to grant her request for justice, “so that she will not eventually…Continue Reading

Luther 1517-2017… Five Hundred Years Of Heresy And Doctrinal Confusion

luther

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 9 (Editor’s Note: This is the ninth installment in a series by Wanderer contributor Raymond de Souza on Henry VIII’s book defending the seven sacraments against Martin Luther. De Souza edited this updated version of Henry’s work, which is presented to readers in this series. (This series will appear…Continue Reading

Excluded From Arizona House . . . Racial Healing Meet Has To Find Another Location, Loses Audience

By DEXTER DUGGAN MESA, Ariz. — The chairman of an Arizona Tea Party group introduced a representative of Black Lives Matter Arizona at a racial-healing conference here, saying, “Black lives matter, and of course we agree that all lives matter,” but blacks are unique in U.S. history as “a people who have endured chattel slavery.”…Continue Reading

Havana: The Potemkin Village Of The 21st Century

By ALBERTO MARTINEZ PIEDRA According to the media, it is often heard that many Americans are interested in traveling to Cuba because, as relations between the jewel of the Caribbean and the United States warm, they “want to see the island before it changes.” And they make this statement with a certain degree of optimism.…Continue Reading

Rocky Homilies

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., serves at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Greensboro, N.C.) + + + The Holy Father’s admonition in Amoris Laetitia that priests must understand that the moral law should not be thrown at people as if it were so many stones (n.…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… A Procession To The Ends Of The Earth

By JAMES MONTI Several weeks ago, after attending the Easter Vigil at a nearby seminary, and the emptied chapel had fallen silent, I began to hear the sound of the sacring bell being rung in the sacristy. Puzzled by this, I wondered whether the seminarians were perhaps trying to repair the bell. But then from…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Look To Our Father In Heaven

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Everyone has made a wrong decision at some point in his or her life, and everyone can speak about the suffering or pain caused by bad decisions. What, on the other hand, about the suffering or pain that is caused by doing the right thing? How often can we say that we suffered personally and…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church Miracles And The Saints

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’.” “Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matt. 10:7-8). It is evident that our Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples the power to perform miracles, and many of them did just that. Not…Continue Reading

The Church’s Liturgy — Who Celebrates?

By DON FIER There is an ancient Latin saying in the Church that eloquently expresses what her members believe of the efficacy of the sacraments and their relationship to faith: lex orandi, lex credendi (“the law of prayer is the law of faith”). Each of the seven sacraments, as we saw last week, can be classified in various categories. Yet…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. My husband and I are wondering when to say the “Amen” after the Lord’s prayer is prayed during Mass. I believe “Amen” should be said after we say “deliver us from evil.” — J.W., Georgia. A. Although it is correct to say “Amen” at the end of the Our Father while saying it outside of Mass, for example, while…Continue Reading

God’s Prophet

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Tenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Kings 17:17-24 Gal. 1:11-14a, 15a, c, 16a, 17, 19 Luke 7:11-17 In the first reading today we hear about the death of the son of a widow with whom the Prophet Elijah stayed when he was passing through that region. The woman had been very good to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Kevin Of Glendalough

By CAROLE BRESLIN Dublin, the largest city in Ireland, lies on the east coast of Ireland, just across the Irish Sea from Liverpool, England. It is the heart of Irish commerce and the gateway for travelers who wish to enter into the heart and soul of the ancient Irish culture of the Emerald Isle. Traveling south past the Wicklow mountains,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine,…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading