Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The First Amendment: More Conscience than Speech

EWTN over the weekend reported that a bill, titled "Every Child Deserves a Family Act" ... "would prohibit 'discrimination in adoption or foster care placements'  based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.

"The bill would affect any adoption or foster care agency that receives federal assistance or contracts with an entity that receives federal assistance."  Read more: http://ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=3291#ixzz1NwtNBvFG

We now need to read and parse the First Amendment of the Constitution. and I do mean NEED:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The first two phrases of the amendment are exactly relevant to this issue.  Congress cannot interfere with the free exercise of religion, and cannot establish one itself.  By forcing religious groups to participate in adoptions to and of homosexuals, the government is in fact establishing a religion and interfering with the free exercise of religious beliefs.  

Now that isn't exactly what the proposed bill says.  What it says is that Congress will not provide federal assistance to agencies or make contracts with agencies that don't allow homosexual adoptions.  The federal funds are used by states to encourage adoptions of children in foster care, and children with special needs.  There is another $13,170 dollars in federal adoption tax credits that can be allowed for the adoptive family.  All of these funds are designed to encourage adoption.  The figure for Federal spending on adoptions was over $1.5 billion last year.  By comparison, and understanding that Planned Parenthood claims to provide adoption referrals,  Planned Parenthood received $317 million in federal funding last year.

The proposed bill would take funds away from Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies, or rather cease to augment private funding of adoptions at religious affiliated agencies.  In March of 2006, following similar regulations in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities of Boston shut down their adoption agency.  Then Governor Mitt Romney decided at the time that his administration would not act against other adoption agencies that refused to accept gays and lesbians as adoptive parents.  He used his executive office like a benevolent despot to allow religious beliefs to be expressed in action.

This is exactly what President Obama is doing in providing waivers to states, corporations, unions, etc., releasing them from the onerous expense of his healthcare program.  

And that is the crux of this issue.  The government should not be involved in adoptions and child care.  Our government should not be involved in abortion or health care.  As soon as our tax dollars are sent away, we allow someone else to determine how to allocate the money we have earned.  And then they tell us that we must follow their rules before we can get it back.

Many Catholics of good conscience would say that de-funding programs for adoption and children, or care for the elderly, is evil.  What they are missing is the fact that government intervention denies freedom of conscience.  The government can and does determine which beliefs are acceptable, and which are not.  If we don't accept those determinations, our money leaves our pockets, and never comes back to anything we can support in good conscience.  We are left to hope that our current executive will be benevolent and overlook our 'discrimination' of others based on strongly held beliefs.  We cease to be free in our exercise of our religion. 

Congress has established a religion. It is the religion of anything goes, except Catholic or Christian values.
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