President Obama: The Great Demancipator
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President Obama will take the oath of office later this month “on a stack of Bibles,” the Washington Post tells us. He will place his left hand on Bibles owned by Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Well, that’s a relief. Interestingly, not included in the stack is the Koran, about which Mr. Obama spoke so glowingly in Egypt four years ago. (No Bibles openly displayed there.)

 

Now, swearing on a stack of Bibles ordinarily conveys seriousness of purpose and deeper commitment to carry through on the words you have just uttered. President Obama four years ago told us he thought the “signing statements” employed by his predecessor, George W. Bush, were not only improper, but they were unconstitutional. Coming from a constitutional law professor, who was sworn in on Lincoln’s Bible, those are serious words. But that was then. Now, Mr. Obama has issued a signing statement of his own. He does not intend to be bound by the religious freedom provisions of the Defense Authorization Bill--which he just signed. The president’s view of religious freedom, like his view of true marriage, has “evolved” over the past four years. When he took the oath four years ago, Mr. Obama pledged “to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States” and “to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” He echoed the words appended to the Oath by George Washington in 1789, and repeated by all forty-three of his predecessors: “So help me God.” That Constitution requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Except the Defense of Marriage Act, which Mr. Obama signaled early that he did not like. Except, too, the Infant Born-Alive Protection Act, which his administration refuses to enforce against Nidal Hasan. Hasan is the accused murderer of thirteen Army servicemen and women at Fort Hood—and Francheska Velez’s unborn child. Perhaps most disturbing of all Mr. Obama’s exceptions in the Oath was his administration’s issuance of the HHS Mandate that forces all but a few cloistered Americans to subsidize abortion-inducing drugs. This unconscionable HHS Mandate deserves to be called President Obama’s Demancipation Proclamation. For, under this Demancipation Proclamation, the first freedom mentioned in the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion, is trampled under foot. There has not been such a threat to fundamental freedoms in 236 years. Only in Kaiser Germany have we seen something comparable. There, the Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, mounted a Kulturkampf—a culture clash--to crush the Catholic Church and to forcibly amalgamate the Calvinists with the Lutherans. If Mr. Obama can force us to collaborate in the destruction of innocent lives just commencing, will he also force us to deny food and water to elderly and medically dependant persons? During the 2008 Democratic debates, candidate Obama admitted to moderator Tim Russert that he had but one regret in his Senate career. He regretted not objecting when the full Senate gave its unanimous consent to let the Terri Schiavo case be heard by federal courts. Terri Schiavo was not in a coma. She was not in what they call a “persistent vegetative state.” She was not dying—until local Florida courts ordered her to be starved and de-hydrated. The problem was, in then-Sen. Obama’s view, she was not dying fast enough. Letting her right to life be judged in federal court was all the desperate family was pleading for. Barack Obama regretted he did not stand against the ninety and nine to deny them access to the courts. It is a maxim that “hard cases make bad law.” Liberal activists find the hard cases. And Barack Obama embraces these hard cases to drive a wedge between Americans and their first freedom. Perhaps the fact that he regrets not giving a dramatic thumbs down to the desperate pleas of Terri Schiavo’s family, the Schindlers, is the reason why such advocates of euthanasia—elderkilling—as Princeton’s Peter Singer and Oregon’s Congressman Earl Blumenauer are such eager drumbeaters for Obamacare. The inauguration of a re-elected President ought to be the occasion for national harmony. It ought to be a ceremony of unity and shared resolve. This inauguration, tragically, begins an administration unfettered even by the need to stand for re-election, unafraid of impeachment, and unaccountable to a watchdog press. Instead, we have a lapdog press. It is one to which he rarely even gives a whistle. Unchecked by the courts and unrestrained by the Congress, President Obama is feeling his power. We have already seen how Obamacare effectively repeals the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, making the states little more than administrative offices of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Surely, this is why the Obama administration rushes into court every time the people’s elected representatives in a state legislature decide not to tax them to pay for Planned Parenthood’s killing machines. If he can trample the First Amendment’s religious freedom guarantees and tread upon the Second Amendment’s support for the people’s right to keep and bear arms, what security is there for any section of the unraveling Constitution? As long as we can, we will appeal to him to pause, to reconsider. We will pray for him, too. May he listen to what Lincoln described as “the better angels of his nature.” May he hesitate before going into the pages of history as “the Great Demancipator.” [Editor's Note: This column was coauthored by Bob Morrison.]

The Honorable Ken Blackwell, a former U.S. ambassador to U.N., is on the Board of Directors for the Club for Growth, National Tax Payers Union, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council.

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