Editorial: Why Pro-Lifers are the Losers of Roberts’ Gambit
Note: I have no window into another man’s soul, I judge no one. However, I can judge bad thought and bad action, and am entitled to do so as a citizen of this country when it comes to the bad thoughts and bad actions of government officials.I’m going to be honest: I think yesterday’s ruling on Obamacare was a national tragedy beyond most. Many are claiming that what Roberts did was expedient for the conservative cause. Here’s the simple truth they are ignoring: Roberts’ opinion, for whatever good it may have done – intentionally or not – was a trampling of the constitution and a huge overreach of judicial activism. If he was trying to avoid the appearance of partisanship, as the pundits are saying he was, then he actually gave a partisan judgment. Roberts allowed his opinion to be swayed by a concern for the reputation of the court, and putting reputation above truth is a concern for foolish men. That concern led him to find a fig leaf, congressional taxing authority, rather than simply declaring that the commerce clause was not a legitimate basis for the individual mandate. He went out of his way to make Obamacare work as a law. As Judicial Watch noted, “This Supreme Court majority rewrote Obamacare and then upheld its constitutionality.” Further, SCOTUS removed the commerce clause as a weapon of the left and handed them virtually limitless power in the form of taxation instead. We can now be taxed not only on our purchases, but on our non-purchases.
While many are hailing his decision against the commerce clause abuse as a stealth victory for conservativism and a gambit may win conservatives the election, I cannot. I spend this day in sadness and anxiety. I do so because the Chief Justice has decided to break trust with the American people and ignore our rights. More than that, he did it for money. No, he wasn’t bribed, but his motivation seems to have been the financial well-being of the country. He kept Obamacare on the books as a fig leaf allowing him to take apart the unjust application of the commerce clause.
Comparatively speaking, I’m not that upset about the government’s ability to force me to buy something. That in itself would only make me a victim of wrongdoing. What distresses me is far worse: abortion and contraception funding. Countless millions of Americans will now be forced to pay for abortions and contraception in more direct ways than they previously have through the HHS contraception mandate and the abortion surcharges on some (not all, we’re told) health insurance plans. If they don’t like it, they’ll have little other choice than to drop their insurance and pay a fine (“tax”). Surely, the tax revenues will also fund abortions. If they refuse to pay the tax, they can be jailed.
It might be argued that abortion and contraception should not have been considered because they were not the objections brought before the Supreme Court. Indeed, but neither was the argument that the individual mandate was a tax, nor was that even a part of the law. In fact, it was explicitly denied as a part of the law. Therefore, what can be concluded other than that Roberts decided to save face for the court in favor of keeping our spending money safe from the commerce clause, and – remember I’m judging the act, not the man, whom I presume is innocent – all that over and above saving the lives of millions of innocent children? Had he voted to knock out Obamacare completely, or even to defund it, their lives might be spared along with the destruction of commerce clause abuse, and abortion would not even have to have been mentioned as a motivating factor. Instead, he chose the politically expedient path for the sake of citizens’ money and the Supreme Court’s reputation. Along with those countless lives, our freedom is now again in jeopardy as those who have no choice but to go without insurance pay for their decision not to buy something and perhaps even go to jail for it.
The following months will be difficult for all those who value life. Although I know it’s not really an option, I am seriously wondering about leaving the country – but what other countries are any better? – and I know there are others thinking likewise and still others calling for nullification or secession. While some conservatives rejoice at the “genius” of Chief Justice Roberts, I can only wonder if it’s simply blinded conservatives or worse, divided them. We will know soon enough. In the meantime, we will have to pray that the Republican party, perhaps the last hope for freedom and the protection of life in America, will sweep the November elections and then not betray us once again in the interests of mammon. If that doesn’t materialize, we will need very clear direction from our bishops. We are willing – by God’s grace – to do what is necessary, even if it means going without insurance or spending time in jail, but those of us with families, who face conflicting obligations, will need to know exactly what will truly be necessary.
Pray. Pray hard. Don’t stop.