While the media seems to have moved on from the firestorm over religious liberty that was kicked off by Obamacare’s contraception mandate earlier this year (a fight that is now making its way through the courts), the threat to freedom of conscience only continues to grow. In today’s DC Examiner, Tim Carney looks at some of the troubling developments throughout the nation:
Last week, New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that the state government can force a wedding photographer to shoot a gay wedding, even though she holds the view that marriage is between one man and one woman — and even though New Mexico doesn’t perform same-sex marriages.
… Is a baby sitter still free to choose which families she’ll work for? Can a doctor still choose which procedures she’ll perform? Actually, a Michigan court has already answered that one, saying an in-vitro fertilization clinic violated a woman’s rights by refusing her IVF on the grounds of her being unmarried.
… This is how the culture war generally plays out these days: The Left uses government to force religious people and cultural conservatives to violate their consciences, and then cries “theocracy” when conservatives object.
One aspect of this fight that bears highlighting: one need not share the gay marriage or IVF views of the people targeted in these cases to understand the threat to fundamental freedoms. In fact, one need not even be religious.
At the heart of all of this is that government at all levels is increasingly trying to constrain freedom of association — the right to say “get lost and leave me alone.” And when the government takes away your right to say “no”, few other freedoms have any meaning.