First, the question at hand was not the religious liberty issue embedded in the Kathleen Sebelius’ HHS Mandate requiring Catholics and Catholic institutions to pay for procedures incompatible with our faith such as contraception and sterilization. The 23 cases addressing that concern are moving through the lower courts now.
The key argument that was upheld on Thursday is whether the federal government has the Constitutional authority to exercise the “individual mandate,” requiring individuals to purchase health insurance. When selling the bill to Congress and the American people, President Obama was adamant that the “individual mandate” was not a tax. Yet, with duplicity, his lawyers in front of the Supreme Court state that it is a tax, and accordingly within the bounds of the Constitution.
While it may be hard to understand how our Chief Justice John Roberts, who is Catholic, cast the deciding vote to uphold the health care law, I don’t subscribe to the belief that his decision was based on personal preference or outside pressure. I could be wrong, but I would guess Justice Roberts is not a personal fan of the Affordable Care Act and I would bet he does not see it as something good for the country.
However, unlike the regular display of lack of integrity by President Obama and activist judges, Justice Roberts stayed within the legal confines of his assignment: he interpreted the law in light of his best legal and judicial understanding of the U.S. Constitution. I am not a Constitutional scholar and have not read his opinion, but I trust his character and the process he used to make his decision. I don’t like the consequences of his decision, but I have confidence in his discernment process and in our country in rectifying the bigger problems with ACA.
Building a Stronger Foundation
Being obedient to the rule of law will yield good fruit. Justices anywhere, particularly on the Supreme Court, need to make rulings based on how the claim stacks up against the Constitution, not on emotion or human respect. If there’s a legitimate flaw in the case arguing that the law be struck down, I would want any Supreme Court judge to uphold the law. Good minds can disagree. Acting on conscience rather than following a herd mentality and not out of personal interest is a good sign. We are not building our foundation on sand, but rather on justice and truth, even if we don’t like it at the moment.
It’s like the work you have to do to save a difficult marriage. When things are tough, many just want to get out. But the heroic spouse sticks it out, imploring every strategy to turn things around until there is absolutely no other action to take.
That’s us right now. This battle isn’t over; it’s just begun. So get off the couch, baby. This is your wake-up call. It is time for the sleeping giant to rouse from his nap and start tapping into his power.
The irony is that if the Affordable Care Act were struck down, the religious liberty cases would not have their day in court. You may not have noticed, but this attack on Catholic values in our country has been going on for quite some time. I am sick and tired of hearing about another Catholic adoption agency having to shut down for refusing gay couples wanting to adopt, as in Illinois.
Don’t be discouraged because it seems like the other side has the momentum and the power. As Jesus said to Pontius Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”
My fellow Catholics, God has got this one under control.
We need to do the legwork and let God handle the results. Take your next step to stand up for God and the Catholic Church without fear. The only thing you need to be afraid of is your own laziness, apathy, and the assumption that everyone else is fighting the fight so you can sit back and rest.