Joe Biden, enemy of religious freedom

The Justice Department has dropped a case it had filed on behalf of a Vermont nurse who was forced to participate in an abortion that violates her religious beliefs. Fox News reports on this case here. Roger Severino provides important context here.

When a Republican administration abandons a lawsuit brought by its Democratic predecessor, the mainstream media invariably cries foul. Perhaps for this reason, Republican cabinet members often persevere with meritless cases, such as the pathetically weak pay discrimination case against Oracle the Trump Labor Department pursued under Alex Acosta and then under Gene Scalia.

But when a Democratic administration abandons a case brought by a Republican predecessor, we hear nary a peep of disapproval from the media.

In the Vermont nurse case, moreover, the Biden administration’s decision to pull the plug is egregious on the merits. George Neumayr explains why in this blistering critique.

At the outset, he quotes Eric Dreiband, who brought the DOJ’s lawsuit in his capacity as head of the Civil Rights Division

Federal law protects health care providers from having to choose between their job and participation in what they sincerely believe is the taking of an innocent human life. Coercing people to perform abortions violates the law, and the U.S. Department of Justice will not stand for this shocking and outrageous attack against the right of all people in this free country to follow their conscience.

But under two phony moderates — Joe Biden and Merrrick Garland — and two radical leftists — Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke — the Justice Department has no problem with coercing people to violate their conscience and their religion. Nor did the Biden administration provide any explanation to the court or to the public as to how it can be lawful to exercise such coercion.

Neumayr provides this fully persuasive explanation of the Biden administration’s decision:

Biden’s decision to abandon this case demonstrates his essential view of religious freedom as an obstacle to the fulfillment of liberalism’s agenda. He supports restrictions on religious freedom wherever it conflicts with his conception of “rights.” Just as he denies the religious freedom of the Little Sisters of the Poor — he supports coercing them into paying for the contraceptives and abortive drugs of their employees — he also won’t defend the religious freedom of pro-life nurses and doctors.

For Biden, the preservation of religious freedom is incompatible with the advance of liberalism. Since his goal is universal recognition of abortion and LGBTQ “rights,” he must force everyone, including the religious, to accommodate them. If the religious resist, he accuses them of discrimination.

In this twisted view, nurses who merely decline to assist at an abortion, or doctors who decline to perform gender-reassignment surgery, are guilty of discrimination. This is a complete reversal of the philosophy of religious freedom underpinning the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom for the religious, not from the religious.

Biden disguises his secularist intolerance as a defense of rights, even as he violates a foundational one [enshrined in the very first amendment to our Constitution]. What Biden calls progress, the Founding Fathers would have called tyranny. What is left of the meaningful exercise of religious freedom if nurses can’t even opt out of performing abortions?

We are witnessing the death of religious freedom by a thousand cuts. If Biden gets his way, religious freedom will mean little more than the narrowly prescribed freedom to worship within the four walls of a church. Either submit to Biden’s secularism or leave the public square — that is the choice the religious increasingly face.

(Emphasis added)

Exactly. I have nothing to add except a book recommendation — Stephen D. Smith’s Pagans and Christians in the City: Culture Wars from the Tiber to the Potomac. Smith examines the reasons why accommodation of religion is under such fierce attack in America — very much along the lines of the Neumayr quotation above — and, in a brilliant piece of scholarship, places the attack in the context of culture wars dating back to ancient Rome.

Christians won the culture war on the Tiber. Observant Christians and Jews may lose the one on the Potomac, even insofar as they seek only accommodation, not dominance. They will lose it to that drastic and unconstitutional degree if Joe Biden and his crowd get their way

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