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From the Kitchen Table


Beyond the Wallet

by Peg Luksik
 

The federal Department of Health and Human Services has recently announced
regulations that would force every employer to provide coverage for
elective sterilizations and contraceptives, including those with
abortifacient qualities, in the health insurance packages which they offer
to their employees. No conscience clause exceptions are to be granted,
even if the employer is a church. The obvious target is the vast array of
Catholic employers who operate throughout America. However, there are also
thousands of private employers who own businesses and have consciences.

The outcry from Church-related organizations has been immediate and
outraged. But the outcry from those who have spent the past few years
protesting government's economic excesses is conspicuous by its absence.

The rationale given is that we need to focus on economics because this is a
social issue, and therefore too divisive. We are given the image of a big
tent, told that we need to be inclusive and allow a variety of perspectives
on the social issues as long as there is agreement on the fiscal ones. The
implication is that the social issues are somehow not really that important.

That is not what the Founding Fathers believed.

Although much of the discussion leading up to the birth of America revolved
around taxes, when the men in Philadelphia came together to write the
document that would actually become the foundation of our nation, they did
not begin, or even end, with taxes. They recognized that they had to reach
beyond the wallet, and touch the man.

Wallets, after all, do not have any rights.

Only persons have rights. And a government that does not begin by
recognizing those personal and fundamental human rights will not be a
government that can be trusted. Period.

If we truly want to stop the runaway spending of our government, we must
begin the process by reminding that government that it exists only to
protect the endowed rights of its citizens. Rights that begin with their
right to life, extend to their right to liberty, and finally embrace their
right to their property.

Our Founders understood this. When they began their dispute with England,
the topic was taxation without representation. But they were creating a
system of governance that included representation, and they wanted to be
sure that the rights of Americans continued to be understood and protected.

They began the Declaration that created America with fundamental rights
because they knew that even a government with representation can be
tyrannous, if those elected representatives ignore their primary job —
ensuring the rights of the citizens. We are living in that situation today.
America has a representative government that believes that it has unlimited
power over our lives, our liberty, AND our property.

The government's action in this instance is not just about adding something
to health insurance. It's not even about abortion. It is an open assault
on the rights of property owners to use their property in accord with their
consciences. That is not just a "social issue".

It's the state's belief in its unlimited power that is the problem. And
THAT belief is what we must oppose — no matter what specific issue is
involved.

As this latest attack on our fundamental rights illustrates, we not
fighting for the pocketbook of America, we are fighting for her soul. It
would be beyond tragic if we lost because we were silent.




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