Quotes of the day

posted at 10:21 pm on July 2, 2014 by Allahpundit

1) What can stop a company from arguing that it is against the owner’s sincere religious beliefs to pay workers a minimum wage?

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not a blank check to religious groups to do what they want. The law says that the religious belief must be sincerely held, and also that the government can burden the exercise of that belief if it has a compelling state interest that cannot easily be achieved in any other way. That’s why no one has successfully started the Church of Not Paying Any Taxes, though people have been trying that dodge for years…

6) Can the Catholic Church now hire undocumented immigrants because it believes in amnesty?

No, because see above: Religious freedom gets balanced against the government’s interest in secure borders. The church is very likely to lose if it tries this, which it won’t…

10) What if your employer decided it didn’t want you spending your salary on IUDs because they’re paying for it?

Why does so much of this argument end up in ludicrous hypotheticals? First, no employer that we know of does this; second, they couldn’t do this, because of health-care privacy laws; and third, if they tried to argue from RFRA, the Supreme Court would not side with them, because again, the liberty promised under RFRA is balanced against other interests, not absolutes. RFRA has been around for 20 years, and we haven’t legalized, say, pedophilia.

***

This gets us to why I think the ruling’s majority essentially agreed with the protesters. If I like to dress up as a character from Game of Thrones on weekends, pretending to fight snow zombies and treating my mutt like she’s a mystical direwolf, that’s none of my employer’s business. But if I ask my employer to pay for my trip to a Game of Thrones fan convention, I am asking him to make it his business. If my employer refuses, that may or may not be unfair, but it’s his right. If, in response, I go to the convention and have the government force my employer to pay for my travel, that only makes things worse. It not only makes my private pursuits my boss’s business, it makes them the business of taxpayers and a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington.

At the heart of this, and so many other recent controversies, is an honest disagreement about how society should be organized. For liberals (and far too many Republicans), businesses should be de facto, if not de jure, extensions of government. If something is desirable, businesses should be forced to impose it.

***

Conceptually, they have two choices. They can limit themselves to fixing the specific inequities the ruling created (for female employees of Hobby Lobby and similar companies). Or they can move more aggressively, to make sure the ruling isn’t used as pretext to weaken other benefit guarantees or to discriminate against sexual minorities and so on. To flatten the slippery slope.

The Center for American Progress, an influential liberal organization, is pushing for the latter approach. In a strategy memo sent my way, CAP experts argue that the proper course of action would be to amend the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and comparable state-level laws to explicitly prohibit business owners from using them “as a tool to discriminate or deny needed medical care.”…

That would be a better outcome than a narrow fix for burdened Hobby Lobby employees and others. It would create clarity where the Court created confusion. And though the politics aren’t as straightforward as a narrowly-tailored fix for female employees of religious business owners, it would force Republicans in Washington and in states across the country to take a position on the question of whether they think “religious liberty” entails the right to discriminate against and impose on others broadly, not just with respect to their legal guarantee of cost-free contraception.

***

This week, in the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled that a religious employer could not be required to provide employees with certain types of contraception. That decision is beginning to reverberate: A group of faith leaders is urging the Obama administration to include a religious exemption in a forthcoming LGBT anti-discrimination action

“It would be nice if we had just a little bit more leverage,” said Schneck, a onetime cochair of Catholics for Obama. “I am a very strong supporter of LGBT rights, and I am really excited about the prospect of extending provisions against discrimination in federal contracts. But I am also aware that this is an issue that provokes real differences among some of the most important religious organization on the front lines of providing care for the poorest and most vulnerable.” Those groups, he said, need to be allowed to work with the government while following the dictates of their faith.

To these religious leaders, Hobby Lobby ought to prompt the White House to reexamine the way it weights religious rights against other priorities. Liberals opposed to the decision, on the other hand, argue it creates a slippery slope to more and more carve-outs from important legislation for claims based on faith. This executive order could be the next battleground for those competing points of view.

***

The Hobby Lobby reaction is not an isolated example. In the case of Brendan Eich, social liberals were clamoring for a CEO to be fired from his job over a single donation in support of a cause—a successful California ballot initiative reaffirming marriage as the union of a man and woman—that few, if any, of his colleagues even knew he advocated. Despite an impressive history with his company and no record of mistreatment of any employee, Eich was effectively ousted…

[M]any social liberals behave as if error has no rights, treating disagreement as a denial of common humanity. That’s not to say that this tendency has been missing from social conservatism, either in the past or present. Nor should conservative Christians forget that the Bible foretold much worse mistreatment of believers than a few poorly reasoned tweets and angry Salon articles.

But when you have people wondering whether we should have six Catholics on the Supreme Court and musing about “concerns about the compatibility between being a Catholic and being a good citizen,” we have something closer to a Jack Chick tract than classical liberalism.

***

Sometimes it seems that this is fine with the Left, because the Left is done arguing. They are ready to unleash the power of the federal government to stamp out viewpoints, including most conservative religious beliefs, that diverge from the moral standards defined by the chattering-class elite…

On the battle line of “religious liberty” versus “bigotry,” an arms race is underway. State governments levy fines on wedding photographers and prosecute florists for limiting their work to man-woman weddings.

This strikes the Right as an attack on freedom of conscience. For the Left, it’s government’s way to crush bigotry.

If this definition of bigotry is widespread on the Left — and if the Left is as willing as it appears to outlaw such “bigotry” — then expect a brutal offensive by liberals set on eradicating their opponents.

***

The first source of controversy is the collapse of a national consensus on a key element of religious liberty: accommodation. Throughout American history, there has been widespread agreement that in our religiously diverse and widely devout country, it is good for the government to accommodate religious exercise. We have disagreed about particular accommodations (may a Muslim police officer wear a beard, despite police department policy?), and especially about whether religious accommodations should be ordered by judges or crafted by legislators. But we have generally agreed that our nation benefits when we help rather than burden those with religious obligations. That consensus seems, quite suddenly, to have evaporated…

The third source of controversy is a change in our views of the marketplace itself. The marketplace was once seen as place to put aside our culture wars and engage in the great American tradition of buying and selling. The shopping mall has even been called the “American agora.” But today the market itself has become a site of cultural conflict. Hobby Lobby is one of many companies that seek to express faith commitments at work as well as at home and that don’t see the workplace as a thing apart from religion. Many companies preach and practice values, religious and otherwise, that are unrelated to market considerations. CVS, for example, recently announced that it would stop selling tobacco products, regardless of how that decision might affect its bottom line.

A country that cannot even agree on the idea of religious accommodation, let alone on what terms, is unlikely to agree on what to do next. A country in which many states cannot manage to pass basic anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation is one whose culture wars may be beyond the point of compromise. And a nation whose marketplace itself is viewed, for better or worse, as a place to fight both those battles rather than to escape from them is still less likely to find surcease from struggle.

***

But an interesting aspect of [Ginsburg's] opinion is her echoing of HHS’s, and Obama’s, view of for-profit entities. For-profits aren’t important and vital contributors to society that provide desired products while often adhering to certain religious or moral codes. Rather, the world is divided into those who do good (the government, the Court, nonprofits) and those who make money (and must be controlled by government). In a part of her opinion that was joined only by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama appointee, Ginsburg writes (again, quoting from a prior opinion) that “‘for-profit corporations are different from religious non-profits in that they use labor to make a profit, rather than to perpetuate [the] religious value[s] [shared by a community of believers].’” In other words, for-profits are just that — for profits. They are only about making money.

This points to a wider victory in this case, a victory for the sorts of civil associations and for-profit businesses that are at the heart of American society. These are the very entities — ranging from small civic groups, to religious charities, to closely held businesses with moral compasses — that Obama and Obamacare are actively in the process of bulldozing. The Court’s opinion decimates the administration’s distinction between non-profits and closely held businesses while also highlighting the differences between such closely held businesses and the giant corporations that are more often the allies of big government. It’s telling that the largest company in America — Walmart — is an Obamacare supporter, while the companies that are always trying to fight off the relentless regulatory onslaught of this administration are, at least disproportionately, the little guys.

The crucial importance of the space between the isolated individual, on the one hand, and big government and its big-business allies, on the other, points to the fact that, while this particular case hinged on a law protecting religious liberty, the bigger issue at stake is liberty itself.

***


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none of the idiots on the mojo panel wonder why 50K kids suddenly showed up at the border.

this aint syria screeches little willie, there are refugee camps on our border.

#pendejos

renalin on July 3, 2014 at 6:19 AM

That Oklahoma congressman who was turned away at the refugee center was on Fox whining about it. I thought, moron, you’re a representative of that state. Get a bunch of state police with big guns. Those refugees are in your state illegally as are the people holding them there. Do something about it. Your constituents will applaud you. We’ll all applaud you.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 6:26 AM

The religion of – no religion – does not trump everyone else.

TX-96 on July 3, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Yup renalin …..deflect for obama

2nd that Col

cmsinaz on July 3, 2014 at 6:36 AM

Its all about the O……must see TV of dear leader calling Tim Howard

Puhleeze

cmsinaz on July 3, 2014 at 6:38 AM

cmsinaz on July 3, 2014 at 6:38 AM

lol at barack obama

he lost dummy. Americans only care about winners.

renalin on July 3, 2014 at 6:53 AM

That Oklahoma congressman who was turned away at the refugee center was on Fox whining about it. I thought, moron, you’re a representative of that state. Get a bunch of state police with big guns.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Better yet, subpeona the heads of DHS and ICE to Capitol Hill to explain why it is that a Congressman is denied oversight of a facility housing a bunch of filthy disease ridden individuals. If they can get on a bus and be dropped off in OK, they can just as easily be dumped on Mexican soil.

Happy Nomad on July 3, 2014 at 6:53 AM

must see TV of dear leader calling Tim Howard

Puhleeze

cmsinaz on July 3, 2014 at 6:38 AM

Who? ;0

America doesn’t have “world cup fever” no matter how much the idiots who refer to soccer as football try to spin it.

Happy Nomad on July 3, 2014 at 6:55 AM

renalin on July 3, 2014 at 6:53 AM

priorities ya know….

Happy Nomad on July 3, 2014 at 6:55 AM

for a short while….

cmsinaz on July 3, 2014 at 7:01 AM

Happy Nomad on July 3, 2014 at 6:53 AM

nope, takes too long. I agree with cranky. Heck, he oughta take some well armed citizens. That would bring some attention to it. If I lived in OK, I’d volunteer.

8 weight on July 3, 2014 at 7:12 AM

Good Morning, Patriots, Sockpuppets, and Trolls.

So, why is Obama being so secretive concerning the care and treatment of all of these illegal aliens whom he is relocating to military bases across America?

My take: The “Mexican Munchkin Migration” Has Become the “Infectious Illegal Alien Invasion”

kingsjester on July 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

So, why is Obama being so secretive concerning the care and treatment of all of these illegal aliens whom he is relocating to military bases across America?

kingsjester on July 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

IMO, Obama just doesn’t give a damn about “presidentin” anymore.

Happy Nomad on July 3, 2014 at 7:59 AM

IMO, Obama just doesn’t give a damn about “presidentin” anymore.

Happy Nomad on July 3, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Do you think he ever did?

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 8:02 AM

NO, COL, he didn’t. But, he and Mooch looove the power, money, and attention.

kingsjester on July 3, 2014 at 8:06 AM

My take: The “Mexican Munchkin Migration” Has Become the “Infectious Illegal Alien Invasion”

kingsjester on July 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Denying access to state officials and blocking highways is completely unacceptable. The states are going to have to deal with this on their own if they have to enlist volunteers. One of the reasons this is being done by the White House gang is to threaten state sovereignty.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 8:13 AM

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 8:13 AM

He wants to hide these illegals so deep in the system that we cannot find them to send them back, health issues be d@#ned.

kingsjester on July 3, 2014 at 8:16 AM

I do live in Oklahoma, and contrary to what appears to be popular opinion, we aren’t a vigilante state. We support the rule of law.

Representative Bridenstine doesn’t represent the Fort Sill area. He represents the 1st Congressional District and is based in Tulsa.

Representative Bridenstine is keeping up pressure on HHS and the Obama administration, and directing focus on the situation in Fort Sill. He’s demanding information from HHS, DHS, and the rest of the Obama administration responsible for these illegal aliens being held in Oklahoma and he’s using available legal means to accomplish those goals. He’s also documenting the activities of the agencies responsible for the illegal aliens being held here in Oklahoma, including activities of the ‘security personnel’ detailed to the holding area.

It’s worth noting that had he been able to actually see the illegal aliens held at Fort Sill, to enter that facility, he would have likely been exposed to infectious diseases and parasites, yet he was willing to take the risk in his efforts to protect the interests of the people of Oklahoma.

There are similar facilities in other states, yet I’ve heard nothing of any other such unannounced visits by their representatives.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 8:18 AM

There are similar facilities in other states, yet I’ve heard nothing of any other such unannounced visits by their representatives.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 8:18 AM

I didn’t realize it wasn’t his district. He would be stepping on toes. But the fact remains that what they are doing is unacceptable and the state should be taking steps.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 8:22 AM

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 8:22 AM

The state is taking available legal recourse, but telling the administration exactly what they’re doing in advance, or publicizing it in the press, would be counterproductive.

Further, the CO of Fort Sill takes his orders directly from the Joint Chiefs, who answer to… their Commander-in-Chief. If they don’t want anyone going into Sill to see those people, no one is going into Sill to see those people.

Finding out what’s going on with those illegal aliens being held at Ft.Sill, and in all the other facilities across the nation, must necessarily be done through legal means.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Finding out what’s going on with those illegal aliens being held at Ft.Sill, and in all the other facilities across the nation, must necessarily be done through legal means.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 8:29 AM

The problem is legal means will take until they are all shipped out across the country. Protest and publicity is needed. I don’t mean tell the White House gang what you’re doing but get the story out.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 8:34 AM

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 8:34 AM

That’s exactly what he’s doing and he’s doing a better job than a bunch of people standing out at the gates of Ft. Sill carrying picket signs since he’s got the national spotlight and we’re all talking about it.

You’re welcome to bring a few busloads of people down, though, and protest all you like. Bring Boehner with you.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Stopping the dissemination of these illegal aliens across the nation is already too late. Airplane loads have already been flown from Texas to California, Massachusetts, and a number of states in between. Literally thousands of them have already been released into communities with notices to appear ( which 80-90% of them will simply ignore)on their own recognizance, or sent to live with ‘family members’, friends, or ‘sponsors’, here in the United States.

Bridenstine is the only congressman, to date, who has made a snap visit to one of these holding areas. There’s a reason that Fort Sill was chosen to hold these illegal aliens. It’s a military installation and no one gets in or out without express permission. It is not some ‘facility’ like DHS processing center where people can come and go. That’s why we’re deeply concerned. Many of us believe this particular group of illegal aliens may be at Ft. Sill because they are under quarantine. There are rumors of infectious TB among this sudden surge of illegal aliens as well as Swine flu, Dengue fever, and a number of other diseases.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Jackie, I can fully understand the quarantine aspect, but do you have any idea whether they might be using such a secure location because they’re using it for criminal offenders ??
Would they actually confine such offenders, even ?
Just wondering if it’s only kids, or criminals, or a combo.

Sigh.

pambi on July 3, 2014 at 10:18 AM

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Sounds like it’s time for some…sudden and severe malfunctions… on the transportation.

LawfulGood on July 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Hi J. I understand your frustration, but here is what’s reported. Not everyone knows each district in the land.

A Health and Human Services official refused to allow a member of Congress to enter a facility in his district where some of the unaccompanied immigrant children are being housed.

Representative Jim Bridenstine (R., Okla.) was told he could schedule an appointment for July 21. “​What are they trying to hide?” Bridenstine said after the incident. “​Do they not want the children to speak with Members of Congress? As a Navy pilot, I have been involved in operations countering illicit human trafficking. I would like to know to whom these children are being released.”

I appreciate your clarification/s.

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Not to ignore who runs the activities at the mil. encampments.

And the princess of omb that shut down WWII memorials is now running the show from military bases.

Sylvia Burwell would have no problem throwing you in jail.

What’s your opinion of HHS running Fort Sills?

wolly4321 on July 2, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 1:00 PM

My contribution to the HA Fourth of July celebration

God Bless America
Whether we deserve it or not…because in these dark hours, it is the best change this nation has of surviving

Woke up this AM with a Temp 102. Explains why I was so sluggish last night. Getting ready to do the JD & whiskey thing and sleep it off. Wanted to say Happy Fourth and God Bless to all here at HA.

XXXOOO

Y’all have a good one!

lineholder on July 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Get well soon, lineholder

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Hope you feel better Lineholder.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Good afternoon, Paladin.

I think it’s important for people to realize that these people didn’t cross the border into Oklahoma. They crossed into Texas. They’ve been shipped to Oklahoma. If anyone wants to know who they are and why they’re here it’s Oklahoma.

Our representative, Jim Bridenstine, went down to Fort Sill to try to find out who these people are, why they’re here, what their condition may be, and to document what’s going on there and he’s using legal means at his disposal to do that on behalf of the people of Oklahoma and the nation.

Texas Republican : No problem for House to pass path to legal status Here’s what a Texas GOP representative is saying about these illegal aliens and his fellow Americans:

“I think there’s no problem getting through the House a pathway to legal status. A pathway to citizenship is going to be tougher, but I think it is potentially doable, if we can show the American people that the border is secure,” Farenthold said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.” “My constituents feel betrayed by the promise that Reagan made, that if we grant amnesty, we’ll then secure the border. We obviously didn’t do that.”

Parents who brought their children to the United States illegally are a “very sympathetic problem” Farenthold added. “We’ve educated them in our schools, and they become a burden on society if they can’t get a job.”

The Republican said the border is “relatively secure” but “not secure enough,” given the roughly 52,000 unaccompanied children from Central America who have crossed into the U.S. since October.

and this:

“I don’t think you’d have any problem getting legislation through the House to have expedited deportation procedures, getting more judges down to prosecute or hear these cases,” said Farenthold, who said it could take years before the children get a hearing otherwise.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told the GOP caucus last week that the House would not hold a vote on immigration reform this year. President Obama announced on Monday that he is taking executive action to fix the system as much as he can himself.

Farenthold suggested he supports the Obama administration’s request for $2 billion in funds to fix the situation at the border, but he said, “We’ve got to speed up the process.”

On Tuesday, protestors blocked three buses carrying immigrant families to a border patrol processing station in California. Farenthold called protests in response to the crisis “uninformed.”

“This is a humanitarian crisis,” he said. “The whole country needs to step up and help out.”

The border is “relatively secure” ? Unattended children can walk right across.

“We’ve educated them in our school and if they become a burden on society if they can’t get a job.” What about all of the American citizens who can’t get a job because illegal aliens have undercut their wages and are holding those jobs? Workforce participation remains at an all time low because those jobs are held by undocumented, unrecorded, labor, and cheap legal foreign labor.

The people protesting what has been promised to be three batches per week indefinitely of at least 140 illegal aliens being released into their community are “uniformed” according to this Texas GOP representative, despite the fact that these illegal aliens have active scabies and head lice, several have already been taken to local hospitals, and there have been reports of other infectious diseases despite the efforts of HHS to silence those doctors who try to report what they’ve witnessed.

“This is a humanitarian crisis. The whole country needs to step up and help out.”

So once again Americans who object to their community and resources being drained by anyone who chooses to simply walk across our collapsed and undefended border are just effectively being called “heartless” if they don’t give the illegal aliens exactly what they want, and pronto, too, according to a member of the Texas GOP.

We could put these people on military transport and fly them back to their nation of origin. This nation used to send bus loads of Mexican nationals home every day. Instead, these people are being flown on commercial jets to cities and towns across the nation and allowed to remain in our communities to await a hearing that may take years to occur and when it does it’s estimated that 80-90% of them will fail to appear for that hearing. If these people aren’t returned to their nation of origin in a timely way experience and the evidence tells us they never will be, and thus the rule of law and border security means nothing and more will come to prey on American communities.

Meanwhile, Americans are being exposed to the risk of contagion, their communities resources are being strained and drained to the breaking point, and jobs are going to people who aren’t even in the nation legally, and the idea of national security is a sad joke, but this Texas GOP representative assures us all we have to do is legalize them all and that will miraculously fix everything.

And yet, for some inexplicable reason, Jim Bridenstine, the one representative who actually tried to do something, and Oklahoma, a state that had no say in these people being held here, are singled out for criticism for not doing ‘enough’.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Governor Brown hails growth of Latino power paving the way for policy changes.

The border states have been engaged in the border wars for over 30 years. When we asked for help the rest of the nation largely shrugged, yawned, and ignored us. Several states have already felt a profound impact from the effects of illegal immigration. California is one of them.

Speaking to hundreds of Latino elected officials from throughout the country holding a conference in San Diego, Brown said the shift in power has made possible public support for changes including his signing of legislation providing driver’s licenses to immigrants in the country illegally and providing them with scholarships and the right to practice law.

Brown went on to credit “the sheer power of the Latino community as it is felt in the towns and cities and counties up and down this state. That is the tide that is turning the political feelings and philosophy of state government.”

“The Mexicans threw out the Spanish around 1815, and then, of course, the gringos threw out the Mexicans in 1846, or 1848,” Brown said. “But the point is you never keep control forever. There’s always new waves coming so you’ve got to stay ahead of the wave.”

“That’s what we call Brown power,” he joked with a play on his name.

The school district gets more money based on the number of non-English-speaking families that have their children in our schools,” Brown said. “Because it’s not really justice to treat unequals equally. You have to do more to be able to create that opportunity and that pathway for those families that are not having the same skill of speaking English as others.”

State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), who introduced Brown, praised the governor for his support of the growing number of Latino elected officials.

“It’s true we keep coming, and we have in Gov. Brown someone who embraces us when we keep coming,” Padilla told the audience.

The real irony here is that Brown and his supporters would argue that ‘gringo’ is not necessarily a derogatory term because its usage in Spain meant anyone who was not a native Spanish speaker. Here Brown uses the word, clearly, to denote white Americans, while arguing that treating people equally isn’t sufficient to be fair if those people don’t speak English proficiently after having come to this nation, for the most part, illegally.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Interactive Map of Where Feds Are Trying To Relocate Border Surgers ( AKA illegal aliens)

You’ll note the “Not in my backyard!” areas and those areas where these individuals were housed at military facilities.

thatsafactjack on July 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM

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