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Big Decision – For Religious Liberty

religiousLaboring under dark clouds, a shaft of light is welcome – and we just got one.  The US Supreme Court on November 25th ruled 5-4:  Religious liberty supersedes government’s power to curtail it, even in a pandemic. Period.  See, e.g., https://www.breitbart.com/faith/2020/11/25/supreme-court-sides-with-religious-groups-against-andrew-cuomo-5-4-barrett/; https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/26/supreme-court-religion-covid-barrett-440808.

Specifically, the High Court granted “emergency relief” to New York’s Roman Catholic churches and Jewish congregations, against strict New York limits on attendance. Wrote the Court: “Restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty,” and “even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”  See, e.g., https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/justice-barrett-casts-deciding-vote-against-gov-cuomos-restrictions-on-churches-and-synagogues/.

The unsigned decision was joined by Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett.  The decision effectively takes the Court in a new direction, reversing indifference shown earlier in 2020.  Make no mistake, Barrett turned the dial.  Concurrences and dissents clashed boldly.

Justice Gorsuch pulled no punches.  He wrote: “As we round out 2020 and face the prospect of entering a second calendar year living in the pandemic’s shadow, that rationale has expired according to its own terms … Even if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical.”

He continued: “Courts must resume applying the Free Exercise Clause,” and hit Justice Roberts hard.  Gorsuch accused him of a “serious rewriting of history,” adding: “We may not shelter in place when the Constitution is under attack. Things never go well when we do.”

Finally, Gorsuch laid it out, no sugarcoating. “Government is not free to disregard the First Amendment in times of crisis.” “The Governor has chosen to impose no capacity restrictions on certain businesses he considers ‘essential’ …” including “hardware stores, acupuncturists, and liquor stores,” and “bicycle repair shops, certain signage companies, accountants, lawyers, and insurance agents are all essential too.”

Missing are Houses of Worship. “So, at least according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians. Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”

“The only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as ‘essential’ as what happens in secular spaces. That,” concluded Gorsuch, “is exactly the kind of discrimination the First Amendment forbids.”

The chasm between judicially conservative majority and activist, secularist minority is deep.

While Roberts offered a milk toast dissent, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan were blunt.  Sotomayor snapped, ready to discriminate against religion.  “Unlike religious services … bike repair shops and liquor stores generally do not feature customers gathering inside to sing and speak together for an hour or more at a time,” she wrote.

She added: “Justices of this Court play a deadly game in second guessing the expert judgment of health officials about the environments in which a contagious virus, now infecting a million Americans each week, spreads most easily.” In short, the minority gives religion a boot, saying more wish to attend services than fix bicycles or buy bottled booze. See, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/26/supreme-court-religion-covid-barrett-440808.

Implications are immediate, significant, and foreshadow.  This holding affirms traditional understandings of the Constitution.  Government – whether State or Federal – cannot cancel, encroach upon, upend, eviscerate, or emasculate, either by word or deed, the Bill of Rights.

While leading Democrats – including Governor Cuomo – street activists, political liberals, ideological leftists, avowed socialists, incremental anti-religious secularists, and litigious atheists are all unhappy, the Court was clear. The ruling holds for religious liberty, not against it.

What exact implications may attach to this decision?  At least, four.

First, the decision immediately stops a host of Democrat governors – and the potential Biden Administration – from more “pandemic-justified” attacks on religion. Governors, who often appear tone deaf, indifferent, and even hostile to religion – are made quiet. The ruling protects churches, synagogues, mosques, and all religious venues. That is an important, overdue.

Second, this ruling will hearten at least 215 million Americans who value faith, 65 percent of America that believes in God.  Government cannot strip them of rights to assemble, speak, sing, or worship in His name.  Faith does not take a backseat to government.  Fitting at Thanksgiving.

Third, this ruling will – the way swatting a hornet’s nest will – bring out the stingers. It already has.  New York’s Governor Cuomo – ironically, himself a lawyer – dismissed the Supreme Court ruling as “irrelevant.”  To him, it may be – to America it is not.  See, e.g., https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/nov/27/andrew-cuomo-blasts-supreme-court-ruling-on-religi/.

Cuomo’s reaction tells us how Democrats in the future. They will be dismissive, disparaging, and disrespectful to the Supreme Court majority, aiming to undermine the Court’s role in society, as they undermined a presidency.

Damage that can be done to a republic by turning against institutions themselves, when unhappy with decisions made, is serious.  Modern Democrats seem content to damage institutions, on the way to fast-tracking an agenda half the nation considers profoundly offensive – centralizing government, impinging on core liberties.

Fourth, on the encouraging side, this ruling foretells the future.  Whether on issues tied to constitutional rights – enshrined in our First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Twelfth, Fourteenth or any other Amendment, this majority WILL respect words and their meaning, not drift off into rewriting the Constitution to fit their political whims.

Bottom line:  History advances by inches, with inevitable backsteps that challenge, frustrate, and dishearten those who believe in core values.  Decisions like this one are instantly important, and cheeringly predictive.  This is big.  Where is leads is good.  As we slog under dark clouds, take heart – there are shafts of light.  Where they shine, if we follow, good things may come.

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Marcia Skelton
2 months ago

Can I get this in printable form, please???????????
EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim
2 months ago

Maybe my comment was too long, it disappeared. Short and sweet: I blame the dems for their power at any costs and I blame the reps for taking their eye off the ball. I never thought we would come to this. I am 73 and cannot believe the change. Hanging by a thread, I hope we have more than that!

CATHERINE HORNSEY
3 months ago

Thank you MR PRESIDENT!!!

RJB
3 months ago

BIDEN IS NOW BABY CHOPPER UP IN CHIEF

COLVENA ZOLLER
3 months ago

How about this to thimk about…
2016 hillary was supposed to start up the NWO. Covid virus was planned, it is what the dems needed. To control us. Because Americans will never agree to socialism, comminism, or the New World Order. Only those who do not worship God Almighty. Only our children whom we robbed them of learning about God. Because we had to work to put food on the table, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads to protect them. We were led like sheep. Exaxtly what they wanted. These donkeys dont realize who they are worshiping. Satan is very cunning…hes got them and they dont know it.

But GOD is still in control. He calls for the believers to pray fervently like the Warriors that we are. Prayer is POWERFUL, it can change any situation. And we are in a bind because satan is interferring and WE WILL NOT ALLOW IT..
Get on your knees…and talk to the Father

Garye
3 months ago

Roberts another dishonest , dishonorable individual.
President Trump delivered as promised with Consercative Justices – Thank God!

Art Warmack
3 months ago

When reading about the New York Governor and his dismissive attitude toward the Supreme Court decision it sure should make everyone to band together and consider using the Second Amendment for its intended purpose…….to protect ourselves and our nation from tyrannical governance. One would think that Cuomo would be satisfied with his direct responsibility for the death of THOUSANDS of the elderly when he, without the true authority to do so, ordered Corona Virus infected people to be placed into nursing homes in his state. The guy truly is a mass murderer and if the Justice Department won’t see to his punishment perhaps it’s time for the people to ban together and issue the punishment the murderer deserves. These tyrants must be stopped, they are cheating their way into power so since our votes mean nothing it can be guaranteed that our ammo does.

Ruth Pierce
3 months ago

HOORAY!! For the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision regarding religion.

Nero Wolfe
3 months ago

Emperor Governor Cuomo is a clear example of a reprobate.

Denise Howland
3 months ago

Praise GOD! The right decision. I totally agree John Roberts is a total disappointment. He will have to answer to a higher authority. JESUS CHRIST.

Cookiepress
3 months ago

Taking this right away from the American people is not the end game. If they get away with this there will be more to come. There are a lot of people in this country who do not believe in religion and will go to the wall against it. What they don’t realize is that it is only the beginning and their ideals may be next. We need to protect all of our rights. It is a choice to believe in organized religion. Taking that choice away hurts everyone.

Neil Schmidt
3 months ago

“While Roberts offered a milk toast dissent, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan were blunt. Sotomayor snapped, ready to discriminate against religion. “Unlike religious services … bike repair shops and liquor stores generally do not feature customers gathering inside to sing and speak together for an hour or more at a time,” she wrote.”

These morons are Supreme Court Justices? They obviously have not read the Constitution of the United States’ First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It says nothing about banning religious services under some governmental mandate—-pandemic or no pandemic!

I can’t believe that we have Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan seated on the SCOTUS bench, and I am disappointed in Roberts.

Last edited 3 months ago by Neil Schmidt
Ed J
3 months ago

Finally, a true Ray of Sunshine among all the Doom, Gloom, Havoc and Damage caused by the Demsheviks, their toadies, sycophants, all other libtards, and (of course) the Lamestream Media. Let’s just hope this ruling of the Supreme Court is only the beginning of turning our Ship of State around and back to the core values that define America. Bravo, Supreme Court!

Mimi
3 months ago

Thank God in heaven, for allowing President Trump to add conservative justices to the SCOTUS!! As long as the democrats don’t start padding the court, the constitution will prevail because of the constitutional conservatives that our wonderful President appointed!! Help us Lord, people are weak, but you are strong. Lord bring out the truth about this election!! Help our President Trump!!

Linda King
3 months ago

Cuamo is irrelevant. I’m going to guess that he got his position in government the same way Tom Wolf did. Dominion voting system.

JEFFREY C JONES
3 months ago

THANK YOU JESUS FOR THIS DECISION…THE FORCES OF SATAN HAVE BEEN DEFEATED ONCE MORE!!!

Sally Quade
3 months ago

Pray, people, pray with thanksgiving that the true awesome God will fight this battle for our President, our nation, and us. Only with His help can this situation turn into a victory!

RJB
3 months ago

FIGHT LIKE VC IN VIET NAM GOAST WAR FAIR

RJB
3 months ago

THE DEMS HAVE SET THE RULES OF THIS WAR WE TAKE NO PRISONES. TIME TO TEACH FEARMONGER WHAT FEAR IS

RJB
3 months ago

THE WAR IS ON WITH ALL DEMS, RINOES, MY FLAKE OF A SENATOR CASSIDY IN LOUISIANA HAD BETTER LEARN HOW TO ABORT DEMS OR HE WILL FIND OUT JUST HOW A DOCTOR THAT HE IS BECOMES THE ABORTED

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