Thursday, January 22, 2009

Judge Bork warns of threats to religious freedom

From Catholic News Agency
January 21, 2009:


Jurist Predicts "Terrible Conflict" Will Endanger U.S. Catholics’ Religious Freedom
Washington DC, Jan 21, 2009 (CNA).- Former Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork has predicted that upcoming legal battles will have significant ramifications for religious freedom. He names as issues of major concern the continued freedom of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions and the likely “terrible conflict” resulting from the advancement of homosexual rights.

Speaking in an interview published Tuesday by Cybercast News Service, Judge Bork discussed the contentious nature of modern politics.

“Everything is up for debate these days. I can’t think of anything that isn’t,” he said.
You are going to get Catholic hospitals that are going to be required as a matter of law to perform abortions,” he claimed.

“We are going to see in the near future a terrible conflict between claimed rights of homosexuals and religious freedom… You are going to get Catholic or other groups’ relief services that are going to be required to allow adoption of a child by homosexual couples. We are going to have a real conflict that goes right to the heart of the society.”

Asked whether there was a freedom of conscience clause anywhere in the Constitution that might prohibit the U.S. government from compelling a religious hospital to perform abortions, he replied: “Well, the free exercise of religion clause might fulfill that role.”

He agreed with the CNS interviewer, Editor in Chief Terry Jeffrey, that such coercion forces someone to act against their religion and could be construed as a violation of the right to free exercise of religion. However, Judge Bork was unsure about whether the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold such a right. He predicted the decision would rest with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who in some cases sides with liberals and at other times with “originalists,” those who profess to hold a more tradition-minded interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
“It depends upon Anthony Kennedy,” Judge Bork told CNS. “Now, it’s a funny situation in which the moral life of a nation is in effect decided by one judge, because you have four solid liberal votes, four solid originalist votes, and one vote you can’t predict too accurately in advance.”

Though Justice Kennedy is a Catholic, he sided with the majority who upheld the pro-abortion rights Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Judge Bork said that a decision involving the freedom of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions would split by a 5-4 vote. “But I don’t know which way,” he added.

The Cybercast News interview with the jurist also touched upon the place of religion in public life. “I don’t think the disputants talk much about God anymore,” Judge Bork commented. “That’s one of the things that I think is regrettable--and I know liberals have said the same thing, it is not a conservative position particularly--but it is regrettable that religion has dropped out of our public discourse. I think it impoverishes it and makes it more violent.”

He explained that he believed this violence was not armed conflict, but rather “violent language and propaganda.” Judge Bork said he also thought that America is “now going down a path towards kind of a happy-go-lucky nihilism.” “A lot of people are nihilists,” he continued. “They don’t think about religion. They don’t think about ultimate questions. They go along. They worry about consumer goods, comfort, and so forth.

“As a matter of fact, the abortion question is largely a question about convenience. If you look at the polls about why people have abortions, 90 percent of it has nothing to do with medical conditions. It’s convenience. And that’s I think an example of the secularization of an issue that ought to have a religious dimension.”

When asked whether a nihilistic society can remain “happy-go-lucky” for long, Judge Bork replied: “I don’t know. I guess we are going to find out.”

3 comments:

Michael Cole said...

Our society has become nihilistic. This nihilism welcomes a new religion which is, as you have said, anti-supernatural and which makes no real demands on people. Gene Robinson exemplifies this nihilistic religion. He spoke of past inaugural prayers as being "agressively Christian" and assured others that he would not use a Bible when he prayed in Washington.

A new religion for a New Age. No Dogmas, no Commandments. Hedonism is the major tenet of this secularized belief system where man is God.

Wendy said...

From the American Family Association....Obama quickly moves on radical abortion and homosexual agendas:

Obama acts quickly, lays out his abortion and gay agenda

One of first moves pushes social issues to the top

Supporting Stem Cell Research: President Obama and Vice President Biden believe that we owe it to the American public to explore the potential of stem cells to treat the millions of people suffering from debilitating and life-threatening diseases. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, which will allow research of human embryonic stem cells derived from embryos donated (with consent) from in vitro fertilization clinics. These embryos must be deemed in excess and created based solely for the purpose of fertility treatment.
Reproductive Choice (Abortion)
Supports a Woman's Right to Choose: President Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Adminstration. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.
Preventing Unintended Pregnancy: President Obama was an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information, and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims.
Support for the (Homosexual Community)
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.
Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

Stewart said...

Is Barack Obama really President? The evidence would suggest that he is not eligible:

Obama retakes oath of office
'The Constitution is clear that its 35 words must be spoken exactly'

WorldNetDaily
January 21, 2009

Barack Obama has retaken the oath of office that was administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at the ceremonial inauguration yesterday.

Legal experts had suggested the move because of the multiple stumbles and flubs at the original event.

Obama ended up transposing the word "faithfully" during his inauguration in Washington. When he should have said he would "faithfully execute the office of president of the United States," he instead said he will "execute the office of president of the United States faithfully."

Roberts began administering the oath by stating the president-elect's name, but Obama cut him off before he could finish.

"I Barack …" Obama eagerly chimed in before Roberts could complete the first sentence.

Obama then allowed Roberts to continue.

"I Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully," Roberts said.

"That I will execute …" Obama said.

Roberts repeated, " … faithfully the office of president of the United States."

"The office of president of the United States faithfully," Obama said.

"And will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God," he finally finished.

According to a Fox News report, Roberts went to the White House late today and administered the oath, correctly, to Obama. Also present were a pool reporter and a White House photographer.

The Associated Press reports, "The president said he did not have his Bible with him [for the second oath], but that the oath was binding anyway."

Josh White of the Washington Post said the oath of office is required of a new president "before he can execute his power."

And he noted, "the Constitution is clear that its 35 words must be spoken exactly."

"He should probably go ahead and take the oath again," Jonathan Turley had told the Post.

The professor of constitutional law at George Washington University said without doing that, "there are going to be people who for the next four years are going to argue that he didn’t meet the constitutional standard."

According to the chief of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel during Ronald Reagan's presidency, Charles Cooper, a mistake in the oath should be fixed.

The newspaper said two previous presidents, Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge, both repeated the oath later because of similar mistakes.

"Out of a super-abundance of caution, perhaps he should do it again," Akhil Reed Amar, a Yale professor, had suggested.

Retaking the oath, however, will not answer the multiple questions about Obama's eligibility that have been raised in a long list of lawsuits filed over his election in November.

The lawsuits allege in various ways Obama does not meet the "natural born citizen" clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, which reads, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."

Some allege his birth took place in Kenya, and his mother was a minor at the time of his birth – too young to confer American citizenship. They argue Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan citizen subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time and would have handed down British citizenship.

There also are questions raised about Obama's move to Indonesia when he was a child and his attendance at school there when only Indonesian citizens were allowed and his travel to Pakistan in the '80s when such travel was forbidden to American citizens.

One California lawsuit, on which the United States Justice Foundation is working, was filed on behalf of presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others, and describes the potential damage an ineligible president could create.

"Should Senator Obama be discovered, after he takes office, to be ineligible for the Office of President of the United States of America and, thereby, his election declared void," argues a case brought on behalf of Keyes, "Americans will suffer irreparable harm in that (a) usurper will be sitting as the President of the United States, and none of the treaties, laws, or executive orders signed by him will be valid or legal."

A number of the arguments have reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which so far has declined to give any of the cases a hearing.

However, another conference before the justices is scheduled on the dispute Friday. The case is brought by Orly Taitz, a California lawyer.

Taitz said her arguments rest on precedents from both the California Supreme Court, which years ago removed a candidate for president from the ballot because he was only 34, and the U.S. Supreme Court's affirmation of the ruling. The Constitution requires a president to be 35.

She also raised the issue of the concealment of Obama's records.

"Obama has refused to submit certified copies of any of his original long form 'vault' birth certificates in Hawaii to any public officer or to any Petitioner. Relevant records in Kenya have also been officially restricted," she said. "Obama has sealed all educational records which might reveal his stated citizenship. These include Punahou High School, Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School."

Obama has claimed in his autobiography and elsewhere that he was born in Hawaii in 1961 to parents Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Kenyan national, and Stanley Ann Dunham, a minor. But details about which hospital handled the birth and other details provided on the complete birth certificate have been withheld by Obama despite lawsuits and public demands for release.

WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi went to both Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama's birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions.

The biggest question was why, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists as his campaign has stated, Obama hasn't simply ordered it made available to settle the rumors.

The governor's office in Hawaii said there is a valid certificate but rejected requests for access and left ambiguous its origin: Does the certificate on file with the Department of Health indicate a Hawaii birth or was it generated after the Obama family registered a Kenyan birth in Hawaii?

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