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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 31, 2014 / 29 Adar II, 5774

Hobby Lobby case is about freedom

By Christine M. Flowers




JewishWorldReview.com | Throughout history, people have fought the good fight to preserve those things of value and fundamental importance that define the essence of being human. Our Founding Fathers raged against the tyranny of their colonial overlords. African-Americans and their allies rode the freedom train against a virulent tide of bigotry. Women struggled to earn what should have been their birthright — a political voice. Activists like Cesar Chavez labored to bring dignity to the migrant worker. Liberty, equality, respect and a living wage were all things that were won through the sacrifice of people who recognized that certain things in life are neither negotiable, nor free.

This week there was another, bloodless battle that took place in our national courtroom, but it was no less passionate than the ones fought at Lexington and Concord, in Hattiesburg, at Seneca Falls and in the orchards of Salinas. On Tuesday, a group of plaintiffs fought to preserve their inalienable rights to worship without government interference. And the government pushed back on behalf of what it believes matters most to American women: free birth control.

Many who support the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, one that forces employers to pay for insurance policies that cover artificial birth control, might object to that description of the controversy. I don't blame them; crusaders for freedom, equality and dignity end up on pedestals; crusaders for freebies end up as the butt of jokes. I'm fairly sure that supporters of the mandate don't appreciate the irony of their position, advocating for female autonomy while demanding someone else pay for it, but the rest of us who stand with Tuesday's plaintiffs certainly do.

Randall Wenger, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, Conestoga Wood Specialties, had a different idea about what was really at stake: "This case is about something extremely American; freedom. If government is in the position of telling people they need to violate their conscience in order to earn a living, we cease to live in freedom."

Conestoga, along with the lead plaintiff in the case, Hobby Lobby, is a for-profit corporation run by Mennonites who oppose any form of abortifacient birth control. They sued to have the contraceptive mandate declared unconstitutional. As noted by Wenger, they are upholding the noble American tradition of fighting for intangible rights that define what it means to be a fully participating citizen of a country built on the primacy of the individual.

In prior generations, they would be the ones on the pedestal. For this one, filled with people accustomed to viewing much of life as an "entitlement," these good people are considered roadblocks to a subsidized benefit. More than that, they are ridiculed for their principled opposition.


It is amazing how the government has twisted this controversy into a battle between the greedy and overreaching "church" and a "state" that stands as a bulwark against the growing caliphate or Christendom. As a lawyer, I think that's preposterous. Under both the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as well as the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, it's difficult to see how you can force a company — which is, in the end, an extension of the people who run it — to provide services and products that violate sincere, profoundly-held beliefs. This is particularly so when the aggrieved employees have the freedom to either choose an employer who is willing to subsidize their birth control or, even better, pay for it themselves.

Contrary to what the chattering classes would have us believe, this is not the case of women being barred from using contraceptives. In our post-Griswold society, that's a ridiculous suggestion, or, as we lawyers call it, a red herring. This is a case of protecting religious employers from having to guarantee access to a product that puts them at odds with their faith.

A lot has been made of the fact that the plaintiffs in these cases are corporations, and that corporations can't pray or seek sacraments (even though, according to Citizens United, they are persons.) That, however, is entirely beside the point. The so-called corporate veil is a legal fiction that protects individual owners from being sued in their personal capacity. It isn't a social safety net designed to strangle them if they try and exercise legitimate constitutional rights.

The crusaders for free birth control are visibly nervous about this case. They've pulled out the big rhetorical guns, warning about how a victory for the plaintiffs would mean that companies could then discriminate against gays, the disabled, immigrants, Democrats and all of society's dispossessed creatures. They also seem to imply that if the government loses, women will all be fitted with chastity belts (which I doubt is covered under Obamacare anyway.) The hysteria is hysterical.

This is a battle for all of us who believe in freedom, whether religious or reproductive. And you don't have to agree with the plaintiffs to realize that if they are forced to ransom their souls, we are in danger of losing our own.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Christine M. Flowers Archives

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.

© 2014, Philadelphia Daily News. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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